I made this painting in response to an assignment for Laura Newman’s Painting I class, which I am taking this Spring. She told us simply: “Make a big head!” She presented various images to us for inspiration, some incorporating repeated figures, some wearing hats or other accessories, some imagined, some abstract and some highly realistic and meticulously rendered. Before this assignment I had been in a major slump, as all of my work was beginning to look the same and I found myself feeling increasingly frustrated each time I went to the studio. So, I decided to approach the white canvas with as much freedom as possible. I went straight for that deep, rich, vibrant blue without planning or sketching and simply began laying down marks. I assumed an appropriately angsty and melodramatic expression (given my recent frustration) and tried to draw with the paint as much as I could. Figuring out the color was the most challenging part, because I wanted to select hues that were strong and vibrant enough to speak and give dimensionality to the form, yet not overpower the raw directness and energy of the blue paint-sketch. I am happy with the finished project; it references Alice Neel, and yet I feel like it is uniquely my own. While it doesn’t necessarily look very much like me (I hope) it certainly captures the comic, tragic mood I was in that day––oscillating between self-loathing, silliness and ironic jubilance.
-Sofia Macht ’14