Contemporary, Conceptual, Figurative
Describe the extent of your talent as an artist:
About the Artist
Born in 1962 in St. Petersburg to Russian parents, Holland grew up near the Black Sea before commencing music studies at the age of 12 in her birth city. Her mother, who like the majority of Russian parents had great ambitions for her child, wanted Holland to become a pianist, a profession that in her eyes was safe and prestigious. Holland, however, had other ideas and convinced her mother to allow her to take on art as well as music studies, and after years of hard work and determination she left the conservatoire in St. Petersburg as a graduate of art.
In 1981, at the age of 19, Holland moved to Norway with her mother who had met and married a Norwegian. Within years of arriving she had herself married a Norwegian and had a daughter. To her mother's delight, Holland used her extensive education from Russia and worked as a music teacher for many years relegating her passion for painting to a spare time activity at home.
However, Holland’s life was to take a turn after meeting Norwegian art’s 'enfant terrible' Odd Nerdrum. The much celebrated, and equally controversial, painter saw some of Holland’s figurative works and asked her to come to his atelier. Her visit resulted in a two-year apprenticeship from 1990-1992 during which she gained insight into his technique as well as his unique world. “It was an interesting period and I learned a lot from it technically,” Natalie explains.
Like Nerdrum, Holland’s figurative paintings depict controversial, contemporary, and sometimes disturbing issues, in a detailed style comparable to that of some of the old masters. “Similarly to Nerdrum, who is influenced by old masters, I also take inspiration from paintings by the likes of Rembrandt and Velasquez.
Her breakthrough in the United States was when she sold her painting ‘The Bride’ for $33,000 which opened new doors for her and since then some works selling for more. She has since then exhibited in the gallery Gruppo Donatello in Florence in and the ‘Mortification of Self’ exhibition the following year with shows in London and Oslo.
With a ramp up to 2009 when her portrait "Agnes" was selected for exhibition at the BP Portrait Award at The National Portrait Gallery in London, and a DVD about her art and her life due out in early 2011, ask if she has any aspirations for the future? For sure. Her former mentor Nerdrum has by many been labeled the most influential Norwegian painter of the late 20th century. Holland laughs: “I want to become the most important Norwegian painter of the 21st century”. And even though she says this with a smile, rest assured she’s not joking…