This painting depicts the heads of two figures in dialogue with each other. The viewer becomes a party to this intimate yet public interaction—highlighting the familiar and somewhat addictive elements of eavesdropping. This work is part of the artist's series Tête-à-Tête; the title is borrowed from the French expression for a private conversation between two people. The characters in each work are instantly recognizable as modern-day social archetypes, including finance bros, the brunch crowd, and the fitness moms of this work.
Ellis' works are anthropological observations of her life in New York City. The artist’s subject matter oscillates between the pleasant and mundane, the voyeuristic and disconcerting. Ellis' paintings depict unrealistic figures, exaggerated just enough to become preposterous, bizarre, grotesque and even camp. The artist adapts her stylistic repertoire and painting technique to suit each composition.
Maggie Ellis’ paintings are anthropological observations of her life in New York City that oscillate between the pleasing and mundane, the voyeuristic and disconcerting. The artist adapts her style and technique to suit each composition, sometimes combining photorealistic precision with frenetic and gestural mark-making in a single work. Ellis always paints through a comedic lens to depict unrealistic and exaggerated figures—subjects that are frequently preposterous, bizarre, grotesque and camp.
Maggie Ellis was born in 1991. The artist received an MFA from Hunter College in 2017. Ellis also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Madison, Maine in 2017.
Solo exhibitions of Ellis’ work have taken place at Charles Moffett in New York City in 2019 and 2021.
Group exhibitions of Ellis’ work have taken place at: the Skowhegan Alliance in New York City (2020); Embajada in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2020); and Field Projects in New York City (2018); among others.
Ellis lives and works in New York City.