Zsofia Otvos

Daria and Arlene
acrylic on canvas
48 x 26 in.

In my figurative paintings, my attention is on the connection between human experience and expression. In my recent work I am more drawn to characters from real life, especially what the surface shows while masking emotions. I often have small groups on one canvas; I show their relationship to each other, the outside world, and how the outside world is viewing them. I find ordinary moments extra-ordinary. While the characters may also be based on archetypes displaying different attitudes, the emotional experience is always derived from life.

Texture plays a big part in my paintings; it is derived from my tapestry weaving background when colors are made by mixing 4-5 different yarns, as a result they remain visible individually when viewed from close up. Like the woven surface, I allow the individual colors to be seen by using palette knives and adding molding medium, the colors mix in the process of painting.

The portrait of the journalist, Sylvia von Harden by Otto Dix is one of the biggest influences in my art. What attracts me is the abstract quality in a very representational fashion; the narrative is incredibly minimalist yet the viewer has the sense of fully knowing the model. For me this type of representation is the epitome of portraiture; when the focus is on the personality and the presence of the sitter, not on the likeness.

© Zsofia Otvos