It’s not every day I find an artist who’s paintings I want to plaster all over my walls, Chantal Joffe is one of them! Her paintings depict fashionable women, sometimes not at all in proportion but making them look so authentic and cool! The lesson here is you don’t have to be perfect to look gorgeous! Apparently she has painted Kate Moss and Stella McCartney, see if you can spot them below?
Joffe primarily paints expressive portraits of women and children, often in very large scale, sometimes 10 feet (3 m) tall. In a 2009 interview with Stella McCartney, Joffe said, “I really love painting women. Their bodies, their clothes – it all interests me.” Source images for her personality-filled oil paintings include family photos, advertising, fashion magazines, and pornography. Working roughly from her photographic source material, Joffe introduces distortions to her depictions.
In the McCartney interview, Joffe mentioned the photography of Diane Arbus as an inspiration for her art: “I find photography massively influential. Specifically, Diane Arbus, who I’ve been obsessed with my whole life. Her work has everything about the portrait of a human that you can ever want.”
A reviewer said of her “big rude paintings” that “she paints with a kind of easy control – effortless without being slick.” He further points out that her paintings may give an initial impression of simplicity, charm, or childishness, but “they have an unsettling quality which gives the exhibition an odd, rather menacing mood.”
Some of her paintings are so large that she required scaffolding to work on them. Painting in huge, unfussy brushstrokes, she is unconcerned with stray drips and blobs of paint, and sometimes leaves old outlines visible. A reviewer noted that “painting the heads up close also makes for large, wonky eyes and odd proportions, like Picasso re-invented in manga.”
In 2006, British magazine Latest Art selected thirty of the most important female artists of all time. Joffe was included for her large paintings which “are simply exquisite representations of femininity”.