The Hobo and Friends                                     



The Hobo and Friends

March 21 – May 02, 2009
Opening Friday, March 20, 7 pm


The exhibition “The Hobo and Friends“ that takes place at Gallery Adler in Frankfurt am Main on March 21 until May 02 2009 shows portrait- photographies of the british female artist Boo Ritson.

After covering her models which mostly derive from her personal circle of friends and acquaintances with protecting cream, Ritson rapidly coats their faces, hair and clothes with impasto paint. The colourful make-up that the artist uses to transform the look of her living models into something artificial doesn’t serve the idea of making them more beautiful or of creating persons without blemish. The primary function of Ritson’s mascerade is to create personalities that give up their original identity. By evolving her illusionistic portraits and transforming persons Ritson in many cases draws on characters that she has developed in stories written by herself.
The artist’s figures mostly are stereotypes of Hollywood and the American culture.
Among the seven art works shown in the exhibition “The Hobo and Friends” for example there are a portrait of a hobo, one of a cowgirl and a cowboy as well as stylized images of synchronised swimmers, all of them in front of a mostly dark blue, monochrome background. For the purpose of their attributes the portraits are a direct allusion to the American way of life.
The peculiarity of Ritson’s art works is covering up the eyes of the persons shown by big black sunglasses, which helps the artist to minimize the liveliness of her figures. The coverup intenses the irreal character of the persons shown so they become statues. The effect of illusion furthermore is being derived by photographing the threedimensional works. As the wet colour is still shining on her models’ skin Ritson’s illusionistic artificial entities are being photographed and therefore frozen for the eternal moment.
In the process of transforming a person into another the artist synthesizes several different artistic means. In Ritson`s portraits photography, painting, sculpturing and performing are becoming one singular unit which is making the works extravagant. Due to her eclectical methods Ritson’s art works are stylistically difficult to classify. Though the process of work itself is expressionistic, the artificial final product is following the idealistic idea of pop art. Ritsons portraits, mostly sized 120 cm by 100 cm, remind in many ways of the works by famous pop artists. In Ritson’s works, the viewer will find Claes Oldenburg’s technique of alienation of everyday objects and Andy Warhol’s serial portraits. She also is inspired by Chuck Close’s works orientated on the indirect reality of photography as well as by the superrealistic works of Duane Hanson.

Creating her surrealistic portraits Ritson is using an outstanding eclectical method through which the artist has not only found her own style, but also managed to give reality a new face and to unfold realness behind the illusion through alienation.



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