Myles Oxenford's intimate figure paintings are charged with tender emotions. We catch his subjects in moments of reverie and longing. Some allow us to gaze while they gaze away in introspection. Others catch us looking and look back with a glint of challenge.


Oxenford makes paintings about feelings and moods rather than ideas. He is inspired by film stills and fashion photography and is attracted to cinematic atmosphere. He enjoys balancing naturalism and artifice, seeing his subjects clothes and posture as extensions of their characters, revealing as much as concealing:

“I am curious about invisible narratives behind poise, fragility behind strength and vice-versa. I like to go on a journey with the paintings, away from the original source, beyond the body into something more psychological.”

Painting with a lightness of touch and sensitive economy Oxenford aims for emotional compression in his work. He edits to find the essence, visually sculpting and refining the figures, becoming director, hairdresser, stylist and make-up artist. Abstracting lines and leaving negative space allows the viewer to become even more intimate with the work: 

“I want them to be open and undone, so the viewer can become part of them, completing the paintings with their own imaginings and emotions.”