Image: Victoria Cantons

Victoria Cantons featured in the FT Weekend Magazine

12 May 2022

Victoria Cantons was in her mid-forties when she enrolled as an undergraduate at Wimbledon College of Arts, London in 2014. She started out by making abstract work but soon adopted a more figurative style, painting expressive, psychological portraits influenced by Romanticism. “I grew up in London as an only child of immigrant parents,” Cantons writes (her mother was Spanish and her father French Algerian of Jewish descent). “I have memories of being different from the outset. Being able to accept, declare and celebrate oneself is an ongoing journey that for me has been littered with mental anguish, trauma and scars.” In a moving new series of selfportraits on show in London this month, she captures the fading markers and bruises of facial surgery, and the textures of theatrical make-up. “There is a strikethrough in the paintings’ titles,” she says of her “Transgender Woman” series, “because even as a child I knew myself to be a girl, and I want to get away from the limitations of the word transgender. This painting is an attempt to see myself through the work, to celebrate and declare who I am, and what it is to be a woman.”

By Griselda Murray Brown.
Victoria Cantons People Trust People Who Look Like Them
Flowers Gallery (London, Kingsland Road) May 11-July 2022

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