Coline Marotta's new paintings look at the influence of new technology on human behaviour

Coline Marotta, Forever Baguette, 2019, Acrylic on canvas. All images courtesy of the artist and PUBLIC Gallery. Via CB submission.

Through themes of communication, intimacy and restlessness Coline Marotta's new works explore how we interact with the world around us and specifically with each other.

The French artist is particularly interested in the influence of new technologies on our behaviour and how, as we become more dependent on external tools to communicate, our abilities to interact and create intimacy in real life are gradually eroding.

Reflecting this current situation, Marotta’s characters appear in a state of pensive sadness – not overwhelmed by sorrow but in a state of contemplative post-summer blues. On show at the PUBLIC gallery in East London this month, you can see for yourself how these protagonists inhabit a private world of the interior, a place where bodies can interact and move at their own pace.

Compared to public spaces, where we feel the need to move quickly and with purpose and direction, Marotta views interior spaces with a slower rhythm, where we can reflect, contemplate, relax – a place where definitions of relationships can be created and altered in privacy.

These scenes are rendered in candied pastel hues and effortless gestural strokes, with figures stretching and reaching across the canvas in a delicate balance of tension and playful curiosity. Her minimal spaces are full of small recognisable elements – fruit on the table, a tiled wall, a book lying on the floor – creating a hazy environment for us to place the paintings within our own remembered places.

"This new group of works almost act as an extended pop song, full of sweetness but underlined by a sense of light melancholy," says the Gallery. "There are lazy bathers and lovers contemplating a loss of contact; the other is everywhere but never fully visible, cropped out from the composition like an unanswered message marked 'seen'."

Coline Marotta, Emotionally late (repainting paintings), 2019, Acrylic on canvas

Coline Marotta, Emotionally late (repainting paintings), 2019, Acrylic on canvas

Coline Marotta, Untitled 3, 2019. Soft pastel & coloured pencil on paper

Coline Marotta, Untitled 3, 2019. Soft pastel & coloured pencil on paper

Coline Marotta, Not pretending not to care, 2019, Acrylic on canvas

Coline Marotta, Not pretending not to care, 2019, Acrylic on canvas

Coline Marotta, Untitled 7, 2019. Soft pastel on paper

Coline Marotta, Untitled 7, 2019. Soft pastel on paper

Coline Marotta, Magic Thinking, 2019, Acrylic on canvas

Coline Marotta, Magic Thinking, 2019, Acrylic on canvas

Coline Marotta, Untitled 8, 2019. Soft pastel on paper

Coline Marotta, Untitled 8, 2019. Soft pastel on paper

Coline Marotta, Studio Portrait, 2019

Coline Marotta, Studio Portrait, 2019