Though ostensibly photographic, Boo Ritson’s work is essentially painting. It straddles a range of art disciplines and practices from painting and sculpture to happenings and conceptual art. The sitters for these paintings that are documented by photography are simultaneously both the canvas and source material; their facial and body features and bone structure are a metaphor for an irregularly-shaped canvas and its underlying stretcher bar.
To achieve her work, Ritson conceives a character and costumes the sitter appropriately. She then creates the persona by applying paint premier coup to the sitter’s body and clothes. The result is documented photographically. Ritson’s portraits are based on narratives she creates that are inspired by American film. The result is a portrait of a fictional character that is so compelling and believable that it seems to actually exist.
Ritson’s work emphasizes the sensuality of paint and demonstrates that painting is still something utterly unique as a means to tell a story and as a medium that simultaneously describes and defies reality and our perception of it.
Boo Ritson lives and works in London and received her MA in sculpture from the Royal College of Art. In London she shows with David Risley Gallery. She was recently the subject of a feature segment on the BBC. Her work has appeared on the covers of Art World and Adbusters and will be the subject of one person exhibition at the CAF Centro Andaluz de la fotografia in November 2008.