About Artist: Chantal Joffe was born in St. Albans, Vermont. Her younger brother is contemporary artist and novelist Jasper Joffe. Their mother, Daryll Joffe, is also an artist, painting in watercolours. Joffe completed her Foundation studies at Camberwell College of Arts (1987–88). She attended Glasgow School of Art in 1988–91, graduating with honours and receiving her BA in Fine Art. She received her MA in painting from the Royal College of Art, which she attended from 1992–94. She was honoured with the Delfina Studio Trust Award in 1994–96 and the Abbey Scholarship (the British School at Rome) in 1998–99. Joffe lives in London. Joffe primarily paints expressive portraits of women and children, often in very large scale, sometimes 10 feet (3 m) tall. In a 2009 interview with Stella McCartney, Joffe said, "I really love painting women. Their bodies, their clothes – it all interests me." Source images for her personality-filled oil paintings include family photos, advertising, fashion magazines, and pornography. Working roughly from her photographic source material, Joffe introduces distortions to her depictions. In the McCartney interview, Joffe mentioned the photography of Diane Arbus as an inspiration for her art: "I find photography massively influential. Specifically, Diane Arbus, who I've been obsessed with my whole life. Her work has everything about the portrait of a human that you can ever want." A reviewer said of her "big rude paintings" that "she paints with a kind of easy control – effortless without being slick." He further points out that her paintings may give an initial impression of simplicity, charm, or childishness, but "they have an unsettling quality which gives the exhibition an odd, rather menacing mood." Some of her paintings are so large that she required scaffolding to work on them. Painting in huge, unfussy brushstrokes, she is unconcerned with stray drips and blobs of paint, and sometimes leaves old outlines visible. A reviewer noted that "painting the heads up close also makes for large, wonky eyes and odd proportions, like Picasso re-invented in manga." In 2006, an editor of British magazine Latest Art described Joffe's large paintings as "simply exquisite representations of femininity".
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