John David Ebert (writer on art, mythology and culture) Allow me to introduce the Hans Holbein of our generation. I've just discovered the great new British artist Emma Tooth... She is dialoguing with ALL the Old Masters. Her emphasis is on the realistic portrait, just as Holbein's emphasis was during the Renaissance. And he was second to none for the life-like quality of his portraits. Tooth's portraits correspond, in terms of updating the structural iconotype of the portrait study, precisely to what Holbein was doing in the Renaissance. If Holbein was alive today, these are the people he would be painting.

ROOMS magazine (issue 12)
...the Modern day Renaissance Master.


HiFructose.com ...The shining star of the night was UK based artist Emma Tooth. Known for depicting extraordinary people in traditional settings, Tooth presented three oil paintings from her 'Concilium Plebis' series portraying urbanites in a chiaroscuro setting reminiscent of the old masters.


ROOMSmagazine.com Beautiful moments of solitude... powerful images...


The Journal The portrait artist has combined crafts at polar opposite ends of the art scale to create a series of stunning paintings... Her work is breathtaking and it’s refreshing in this time of technology and alternative practices to see classical fine art painting - which has a unique contemporary edge... This is a must-see exhibition – especially for those who love the old masters.


HiFructose.com ...As the master painter prepares for her upcoming museum show at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Tooth's ongoing series, "Concilium Plebis", takes on ordinary and everyday subjects, painting them in a masterful and extraordinary way. The artist's use of "chavs", "hoodys", "scallys" (and even random subjects off the street), makes her a perfect, albeit somewhat shocking, partner to show alongside English portraitist Joseph Wright of Derby.


Artist.Directory Tooth’s artwork is grand in every sense of the word. Her work is full of intrigue, drama and pizzazz.... Maybe it’s the darker color palette she chooses. Maybe it’s the composition of her paintings. Maybe it’s the emotions leaping from the paintings. Most likely, its all three of those and much more.


John David Ebert (writer/lecturer on art and culture) very exciting... very refreshing...


FirstThursdays.co.uk [on the 'Up Close' exhibition at Signal Gallery] ...Intense and powerful work, with a considerable amount of technical brilliance and emotional power. This show demonstrates that the art of figuration is not dead, but alive and kicking in Hoxton.


LiverpoolCulturalChampions.com [on 'Evolution' at Corke Gallery] "Amazing show... breathtaking... not to be missed... clever... powerful stuff from a powerful, emotive, talented artist... Emma is among the most exciting fine art portrait painters in England today... Haunting and memorable... this is an exhibition you will not forget for a very long time!"


ImagineFX magazine Her work is fascinating.


Signal Gallery Extraordinarily talented...


ArrestedMotion.com Regardless of year of creation, skillful painting is timeless.


livingproofmag.com Brilliant technique and great subject matter in these portrait paintings make this exhibition a must see.


Artist.Directory ...one heck of a talented artist.


Openmagazine.co.uk A cutting edge attitude to their selection of artists has done Lazarides proud and a testament to this is their excellent group show Grifters... it is a mixture of installation, taxidermy, street art, painting and photography with a witty, fashionable and a distinctly urban feel. Highlights include Emma Tooth [who] has given the Madonna and Child a Croydon Town make-over... one not to miss!


The Metro, Art Review by Christopher Collett Harking back to the early 17th Century paintings of Caravaggio, Emma Tooth's Concilium Plebis comprises a series of portraits which present people who are often derided as 'chavs' and 'hoodies' in traditional religious poses.

A single mother and her child resemble the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus; a hooded youth looks up to the sky in saintly contemplation; and a bare-chested young man holds his arms outstretched as if nailed to the cross. Paying homage to Caravaggio's The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, meanwhile Tooth shows three youths staring at a tattoo on a young man's stomach, which proclaims: 'Before A Fall Comes Pride'.

In each of the gilded-framed portraits, Tooth masterfully mimics Caravaggio's trademark use of chiaroscuro, giving her subjects a celestial glow that further adds to the aura of divinity.

Although it might initially appear as if Tooth is mocking her subjects, using members of the public as models for biblical scenes is exactly what Caravaggio did 400 years ago. By depicting a girl dressed in a hooded top with gold hooped earrings as the Virgin Mary, Tooth not only challenges negative connotations, but also suggests that anyone can be touched by the divine.


ArrestedMotion.com BOOM, we were hooked!


Nic Corke for Art Of England Magazine The days of Conceptual Art are over. The notion that it's the idea rather than the ability to carry it out [that] is important is long gone. People are getting very excited about Emma Tooth, she's well-regarded in the street art fraternity and... her portraits offer more than just what is in front of you as she turns the ordinary into the spectacular, like Caravaggio [did].


My Planet Liverpool magazine EVOLUTION is aptly titled because it brings together some of Emma Tooth’s best known paintings of recent years, including a number from her acclaimed Concilium Plebis collection, and places them alongside some very rarely seen pieces, old and new, offering an overview of the development of her work from her earliest experiments with oils in the mid-Nineties right up to now.


This is an unusual and arguably brave decision by a professional artist to open up her archives and place less mature pieces alongside more recent, perhaps technically more advanced works, but as a result the exhibition showcases not only the paintings in themselves, but presents a sense of a progression or journey.


The earliest piece in the show is the imposing Punch, rendered on a heavily distressed wooden panel which Emma acquired during one of her customary midnight skip-raids in her home city of Cambridge. This is an unusual opportunity to see such an early piece as so much has been destroyed or is locked away in the collections of old friends.


Today Emma Tooth is best known for Concilium Plebis; (Latin for The Council of The Ordinary) a collection of extraordinary portraits of ordinary people. Kickstarted in 2008 with Arts Council funding, her depictions of "chavs" and "hoodies" in the style of Caravaggio and the Old Masters gained her international attention.

Some of the strongest work in EVOLUTION is drawn from her subsequent collection entitled Heredity, where she deploys her by-now considerable technical skills in intimate and sometimes breathtakingly lifelike portraits of members of her own family. After all the paintings of hooded youths and tattooed young men in crucifixion-inspired poses, she seems to discover her metier in the wrinkles of old men's faces. Particularly striking is a lifesize portrait in oils of her paternal grandmother, the Queen Bee whose presence dominates EVOLUTION, and the almost impossibly weathered features of her maternal Grandfather, The Man with the Fish in His Eyes, whose face is a tribute to a lifetime of sun and cigarette abuse.


Among the portraits included in the show are several fine paintings of the artist herself, which chart an evolution of their own. Emma Tooth has been described as a ‘living work of art’ herself, and her experiments with her own image are often as striking as her paintings...


Dr. Dorothy Rowe, Art Historian Dramatic and eloquent


Movida-dubai.com Internationally acclaimed artist Emma Tooth has taken the contemporary art world by storm ... [and] approaches her work with utmost intensity and commitment. Using the historically loaded medium of oil on canvas, Emma creates Fine Art portraits with a sense of escapism, often representational of a single figure in a solitary moment.


The artist has taken on the challenge of producing works in the manner of some of the great names in European Art history. She replaces images of religious or mythological figures, with iconic contemporary imagery and social characters, sourcing inspiration from real people in modern culture. These works have a moody pseudo-religious intensity...


The artist is very imaginative and playful with setting, character and costume design within her work, creating a unique contemporary slant on Caravaggio-inspired portraiture.


The extraordinary aura of Emma Tooth and her work which fascinates audiences and critics alike regularly gains media attention, appearing in films, books, radio and magazines. She has shown extensively across the UK and in the USA.


Folio Magazine review Taking iconic religious poses and repainting the figures as townies and chavs sounds like a venture that could go hideously wrong, but Emma Tooth's wit and skill as an oil painter has resulted in her Concilium Plebis series being one of the highlights of the show.


The Biscuit Factory Gallery 21st Century ordinary people are immortalised in these great works. The imagery and medium together hold a wealth of symbolism. The work is poetic, different and stimulating as illusion, perception and reality are all challenged.


Jan Rodgers, BBC Extraordinary


ImagineFX.com team blog This stuff is the fabness!


Derbyshire Magazine (Wendy Roberts)The powerful portraitist you can't ignore. The Derbyshire artist is as striking as she is talented, as unique and surprising as her formidably impressive art. Stunning makeup and clothes with an historical air show her... seemingly endless creativity. Emma has created something extraordinary and new... something stunningly atmospheric; a classical take on 21st century life.

Claire Hamilton, BBC Radio Merseyside Beautiful… Proper Painting


Liz McGrath, Artist Emma Tooth's work is truly stunning; her rich dark color palette and eerie backgrounds lend themselves perfectly to the atmospheric portraitures which inherit her creative kingdom. There's no denying her artistry as each of her paintings leer, smile or cry for you in such a life like manner.


Aleena Naylor, BBC Radio Derby Breathtaking... Incredible... Such a fine artist


Derbyshire Magazine (Lynne Dixon) Spellbinding... Stunningly dramatic style and technical excellence


The Shields Gazette Stunning, and the likeness... is incredible.

Liam Sharp, Artist and Publisher She has a natural visual talent, classical skill and killer technique, plus she's far too young to be this accomplished!


Dom Jinks, Arts Council England Technical excellence

Al Davison, Author/Artist Emma Tooth is an amazing artist, not only does she produce finely detailed, beautifully crafted paintings, but Emma herself is a stunning, living work of art.


David Hancock, ArtistEmma continues themes and iconography that were prominent in Victorian painting. She brings not only a contemporary twist, but dramatically shifts the role of the female in art from the muse to the artist.


Bernd Preiml, Artist Whenever I look at personal images of Emma I feel very happy as she seems so full of joy and easy in her own universe that is filled with dark beauty and a lot of talent. I would like to be her brush!


Sally Pepper, BBC Radio Derby You will be blown away. Phenomenal work.


Artinliverpool.com Her skill is awesome.


sffworld.com Perfect.


Derby Evening Telegraph A force to be reckoned with


John Forkin in Business Matters Magazine Brash scale and confidence ... technically brilliant.


all images and design copyright emma tooth © 2014