Zsófia Ötvös

The line between humor and pity is thin. It is the humor, and at times the ridiculous, that inspires and surfaces in my work. In my art I tell short stories informed by strong waves of feeling in my life. In the composition I use melodramatic tools of movement and stillness, gestures and attitudes, lights and shades. I have adopted theatrical lighting technique to express the inaccuracy of memory. My themes are of the intimate inner worlds, the utter indifference and extreme self-absorption. The characters do not shy from grotesque and satirical exaggerations, and they can also be presented at an elevated state in celebration of the individual.

In my practice I rely on my sketches, photos and the emotional memories that left an imprint on me at the time of inspiration. I am focusing on the essence of the character by taking them out of their environment and placing them in a suggestive, timeless place. I engage in as little detail as necessary to share my stories as a result my work encompasses abstract shadow-like impressions to idealized realism.

The surface of my works carries my artist-presence of creation. When painting I embrace the physical quality of the paint; the guided marks left by strokes of palette knives and brushes are responsible for the painting’s vibrant presence. In my drawings the hard pencil marks attract the viewers to step closer to see the detail, thus breaking the limit of personal space and symbolically exposing my intimate self.

Above: 5 paintings from the series “Monsieur d’Eon is a woman”.

During the global pandemic, as a theater company member, I witnessed first-hand the cultural, intellectual and emotional losses due to the closing of performing arts. Experimental small theaters companies are the lifeblood of the city, they are more nimble and relevant as they can take more risks. Trap Door Theater is a space committed to challenging and obscure work through diverse voices using established and imaginative techniques reflecting the absurdities of today’s society. The director of the play, “Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman,” practiced conscious casting, void of race or assigned genders. This infectious ensemble touched me at the core and inspired a current series of the subject “the actor revealed”.

Website: www.zsofiaotvos.com