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Christina Pataialii

Bite fight-Mike Tyson, 2017

acrylic paint, house paint, spray paint on canvas
184 x 244cm
About Christina Pataialii
Christina Pataialii’s colourful, spontaneous paintings land on the intersection of abstraction and figuration. Ranging from small to gigantic, they show the artist’s great attention to the way they occupy space and the impact they have on their audience. Being a daughter of a house painter, Pataialii is drawn to experimentation with artistic materials: she dynamically uses and combines acrylics, spray paints and house paints on hand-stretched drop sheets. Contextualised by her bicultural Samoan and Pākehā upbringing, the artist explores notions of cultural codification in a globalised world, one’s sense of identity, and the construction of ideological boundaries amidst growing Western nationalism. Her paintings show large strokes of bold colour alongside more figurative signs, such as a boot, a fence, or a candle. Those objects are reminders of a certain belonging – to a place, a class, a culture – and testimonials to the way identity is shaped by one’s experiences, such as, in Pataialii’s case, listening to pop music from the ‘50s and ‘70s on her way to work with her father. The tension that arises from the contrast of Pataialii’s materials, artistic choices, and conceptual underpinning makes her works an intricate and complex testament to one’s identity and culture.