Ellen Altfest’s Two Logs mesmerises as a feat of monumental concentration. Bordering on abstraction, her still-life becomes lost in its own representation, each detail independently captured becomes a reverie of its reproduction in paint. Consumed by the making, Altfest uses her simple subject as a departure into an inner consciousness, allowing her gestures to form as unmediated psychological response to the scene. Flirting between reality and dream state, her work conveys an impalpable ambience through the luxurious materiality of her surfaces.
Focussing on the male member, Ellen Altfest’s Penis is painting up close and personal. Drawing from the hyper-realism of Chuck Close’s portraits, Altfest approaches her intimate subject with detailed obsession. Every wrinkle, vein, and hair is represented with painstaking accuracy, transforming ‘a bit of the other’ into a terrain of investigative wonder. Through the complexity of her process, Altfest denatures the abject into a field of inspiring contemplation. Each gesture and brushstroke encapsulates a metaphysical consumption, where desire and fixation are conveyed through the sensual study of painting itself.