ELLEN ALTFEST – American Artist (Born 1970)
“With exquisite attention to the minutest details, Ellen Altfest produces naturalistic paintings that transform humble or intimate subjects—like houseplants, gourds, rotting items or a man’s underarm—into evocative, psychologically loaded objects that almost exceed realism”. American artist Ellen Altfest exploits the full potential of green in many of her paintings, as you can see in this nuanced image, here to create the image of moulding or decay.
When I first saw these two pieces, I thought they were paintings but they are infact woodblock prints. She has managed to make them look so textural without them actually being textural. The works accurately captures the decay of the object but are also beautiful pieces. This is a challenging element to achieve.
Green Gourd, 2007 – 18 colour woodblock print on Japan MM7 Kozo paper
Ellen’s work inspires me to think about textures when creating works to do with mould and decay and to think about how varied the colour palette of mould actually is. In my opinion, Ellen Altfest’s moulding food paintings are beautiful. They capture exactly what most of us take for granted and make something normally considered repulsive have a sense of beauty and therefore she is highly relevant to my project on decay.