Chantal Joffe

b. 1969 St. Albans, Vermont. Lives and works in London, UK

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Chantal Joffe, The Pink High Heels, 2004, Oil on board
Chantal Joffe, The Pink High Heels, 2004, Oil on board

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Chantal Joffe’s large-scale portraits, mostly of women and children, express a strong psychological and emotional force with a humorous touch. The figures are portrayed with a down-to-earth realism, which turns them into individual characters and triggers a personal relationship with the viewer. Using rough and dynamic brush-strokes brings the images to life, as the paint also finds its own way by dripping down the canvas. In works such as Carolyn, 2007, and The Pink High Heels, 2004, Joffe complicates reductive definitions of womanhood. These paintings represent women who embrace their femininity, without it being idealised. Instead they are given a personality, which is accentuated by the physicality and fluidity of the painting process.