This self-portrait is one of several that Erika Cholich made in succession, using subtle changes in natural light and temperature to explore the differing effects.
‘This particular self-portrait was completed in about two-and-a-half hours,’ says Cholich. ‘It was done from life and catches the concentration of the artist and the waning light of day. Indirect light sources offer innumerable challenges and take the painter beyond the obvious. I paint alla prima [wet-on-wet] because it is exciting, like being on an adrenaline-packed adventure where decisions need to be made quickly with very limited opportunities for reassessment.’
‘The diminutive scale and the simplified colour palette invite the viewer into an intimate and quiet visual experience, which is disturbed only by the intensity of the eyes. This painting is not meant to glorify the subject, it is a record of an experience.’
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA in 1972, Cholich studied under acclaimed American artist and professor Shirley Aley Campbell. She came to Australia in 2011 and now lives and works in Sydney. This is her first time as a finalist in the Archibald Prize.