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Sarah Rupp

"My paintings are an attempt to capture and exaggerate the various ways that women are portrayed in contemporary popular culture. My strong personal interest in both the female figure and the high fashion industry fuels my paintings. Thus, my work comments on the ongoing social trends associated with ideas of beauty, public appearance, and perception.

I gather images from fashion magazines and the Internet, then collage and distort the photographic source in a careful construction of appearance that gives my subjects a new or heightened identity. The gazes of my subjects embody an inward-looking trance-like reverie, frozen in time. The uniformity and smooth perfection of their facial features projects a mood suggesting that they are uninterested or unashamed of their state of being. Behind every face is a different story. For some, the physical oddities that my subjects posses may be disturbing—for others, humorous.

My use of oil paint allows me to thoroughly blend and layer the paint to achieve the effect I want out of my work. Combining color, form, and technique, I create complex and elusive visuals while maintaining a very high level of control over the medium. Smooth, delicate application of paint juxtaposed with a bright, dramatic color palette creates an exciting interplay of shadow and light that both draws attention to my subjects and maintains their enigmatic aura.

I want the viewer to feel the physical and psychological tension between beauty and strangeness in the work without being limited to a single interpretation. I want viewers to attach their own emotional meaning to my work."

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