Boo Ritson immortalises her sitters in glossy daubs of paint, apparently a process that broke the ice when she painted her dealer David Risley as ‘Godfather’. Yet instead of working on canvas, Ritson paints directly onto the person. Covering her subjects in barrier cream she then embarks on a 15-20 minute painting session, “I think about the topography of the face and how that might impact on the painting, either as an awkwardness, as a unifying thing, or as a mixture of both and take it from there,” explains Ritson.
Her assistant then captures the creation on film, “When I've finished painting the person, the work sits in space, image on object, and it has the clarity of definition you would expect from an object in space. At the point that the documentation starts, I then continue to work on the painting for a short time while referring to the image on [my computer] screen.”
Using people she knows, Ritson’s protagonists are recognisable, normally sunglass-clad caricatures, “All of my portraits come from an interest in stereotypical characterisations found in film and literature from the US. At it's heart, is a fascination with the ways in which Americana has been exported to us.”
So what can we expect from her forthcoming solo show. “I’m really excited to be showing in New York for the first time – the exhibition, will have a mixture of portraits, full-length images and a still life”.
Then and Now and Forever at Bravin Lee, New York April 18 - May 17 2008