Ilona Szalay was born in 1975 in Beirut and is now based in London. She studied at Oxford University and Byam Shaw, University of the Arts.
Ilona Szalay's paintings trace a path through a world of conflict and power play, a place of rigid hierarchy and fierce competition. Using a spare, concise visual language the work explores notions of vulnerability and beauty, dominance and submission, violence and control. The pictures are permeated with a lonely sense of yearning and a poignant straining towards something infinite.
Her work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy, and in addition to being among the winners of the 2013 ORA Prize, she has recently been selected for the Threadneedle Prize 2012 and the National Open Art Competition 2012, two of the most prestigious awards in the United Kingdom.