Pictures of you, Pictures of me

My work reconciles the culture of fashion and advertising with the personal communication of the “selfie”, a form of self-presentation and expression. Through painting I re-present found imagery though a subjective narrative. My figurative paintings hold personal memories of both a longing for and a rejection of beauty through an iterative process. Female figures are often depicted in moments of introspection or contemplation, as I seek to explore the complexity and nuance of the female experience. Through my art, I hope to challenge traditional notions of female beauty and perfection, and instead present a more authentic and diverse portrayal of women.

Original Art by Judith Geher

When did you realize you wanted to pursue art professionally?

My realization of wanting to pursue art professionally was an evolution that took shape over the course of my life. From an early age, I have been creating art in various forms, experimenting with different media and techniques. A degree in architecture helped me develop a visual language to describe objects, but it was more important to me to convey experiences, and that is what led me to painting. I feel most alive when I am immersed in the process of creating.  

Whether fellow artist or friend, who has continued to inspire your work?

I've been fortunate to be inspired by a diverse array of creative minds throughout my journey. While it's difficult to pick just one, recently I've found Christina Quarles' figurative work to be particularly inspiring. Her longstanding life drawing practice reminds me of my own experience with that, and her visual expression encourages me to push the boundaries of my own work.

Original Art by Judith Geher

What do you enjoy exploring through your art?

I love the process of manipulating paint to sculpt my emotional responses to the subjects I choose. I use images of women selling clothes from contemporary online catalogues as a stepping off point to explore and challenge societal norms and perceptions. I deconstruct and reconstruct these with my personal narratives.  I never know what my response will be to the image until I begin painting, then I work through it, good or bad. It's a way for me to engage with the intersection of art, fashion, and identity, questioning the portrayal of women in consumer culture.  

Looking back, what advice do you wish you could give your younger self?

Embrace authenticity and always stay true to who I am. I would emphasize that each of us is unique, with a singular voice and perspective that holds value. No one else can express the thoughts, feelings, and ideas that I have in the same way.

What is one thing you hope your audience walks away with after experiencing/viewing your work?

A recognition of the inherent beauty in a person, a woman, even in the context of selling something — that she is real and human, and just like me.

Judith Geher