It is interesting for me to stay within the parameters of a more traditional subject matter and to explore and find small ways of creating new work from this place. Cliché is the type of challenge I like to deal with, and honestly a pretty difficult one. There is something to the act of representing animals, specifically those we choose to bring into our homes and dotingly care for, which inevitably also addresses broader cultural issues. The choice of only representing dogs and the female nude is a very deliberate one, though one I’ve not entirely defined for myself. This is what the paintings attempt. If the goal were fully realized then painting would not be the appropriate medium. Painting is at its best when it is in search of something.
Ultimately, my concern is painting. Having a formalized subject provides a framework to create images that I want to exist, which can only exist in painting. There is always the human desire to look, to discover new visual experiences which also have a relationship to a physical existence. Why is painting important? It shouldn’t be really, but for some reason we need and crave this type of expression. Obviously, the overstimulation of current visual culture could be seen as a challenge to this need, but there is something intangible, perhaps that it is explicitly tangible, which keeps painting relevant.
My imagery comes from an internal visual archive. Other painting is what I look to for inspiration rather than photography or other visual media. I am always taking ideas from older works I admire.
A painting usually begins with a small sketch or two, providing compositional structure. These beginning forms are always figurative. The ‘scene’ evolves as the painting progresses and is about balancing color, pattern, and form. I have a tendency to keep going back into a painting when I could (maybe should) stop, but that overworking has become part of the process and creates a tension and awkwardness which makes the work interesting for me. There are so many stages at which a painting could be considered finished but there is something which just feels right when it finally arrives.
My work is very knowingly engaged in the history of decorative image making. Matisse said he wanted his work to act like a good armchair for the viewer. He was criticized for this apparently shallow statement. But this seems a perfectly legitimate approach to the subject of contemporary painting within contemporary culture. I am not particularly interested in didactic works of art. Art which has the most meaning for me, and the most to offer in terms of speaking to the broader human condition, is that where the intent is not entirely explicit. Humor is important. Though painting is not a joke. Kill them with kindness; or decoration.
I would like my work to inspire sustained and repeated looking. The most interesting and powerful works for me (both my own and otherwise) are those I can come back to again and again and my experience of them continues to evolve and reveal new ideas and understandings.
2004 The Cooper Union, New York, NY – B.F.A., Painting/Printmaking
SELECT EXHIBITIONS (* indicates solo )
2019 * Some New Paintings , 0-0LA, Los Angeles, CA
Practice, Vacation, New York, NY, curated by Drawer
2018 Visitors from Shallow Space , Fresh Window Gallery, Brookln, NY, curated by Annie Hemond Hotte and Nora Nieves
Re-Arrange, Juxtapoz Projects at Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ
Wild At Hand , HVW8, Berlin, Germany, curated by Jenny Ames and Brit Seaton
Between The Acts , Mother Gallery, Beacon, NY
Chromalicious, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA
Spring Syllabus , J. Hammond Projects, London, UK, curated by Lisa Slominksi
The Garden of Earthly Delights , Deanna Evans Projects, Brooklyn, NY, curated by Karen Gilbert The Cruellest Month, Mother Gallery, Beacon, NY
Interrupting Lines, Pt.2 Gallery, Oakland, CA
Actually Weird , Underdonk, Brooklyn, NY, curated by JJ Manford
2017 Paper Cuts, Tripp Gallery, London, UK, curated by Kristian Day
*Sunday Painting , Nationale, Portland, OR
Drawer, Deli Gallery, Long Island City, NY, curated by Corydon Cowansage for FlatFile (now Drawer) Suicide Squeeze , Yo Mama Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, curated by Elias Necol Melad
Home, Monya Rowe Gallery, St. Augustine, FL
Deep Ssips , Honey Ramka, Brooklyn, NY
Dogs, Raymond Duck (173 Green Street), Brooklyn, NY, curated by Oliver Clegg and Austin Lee
2016 Between You and Me , Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA, curated by Valaire Van Slyck and Adrian Ting
PRIZES & AWARDS
2003 Mary M. Doyle Memorial Prize , The Cooper Union, New York, NY 2002 Sylvia Appleman Award , The Cooper Union, New York, NY
RESIDENCIES & FELLOWSHIPS
2008-9 Lower East Side Printshop , Keyholder residency, New York, NY
2019 Juxtapoz, n208,p.154.
2018 Maake Magazine, curated by Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Issue 7, pp. 24-25.
Editorial Selection, ART MAZE Mag , Issue 8, p. 2; pp. 136-137.
‘Drinking, Walking, Washing’, Ambit , Issue 231, pp. 72-80.
Yannis Kostarias, ‘Sophie Larrimore Develops a Fuzzy and Ambiguous Narrative in Her Imagery of Human’s Favorite Pet’, Art Verge , February 1 (online)
2017 Indrisek, Scott, ‘ A New Platform Is Selling Original Artworks by Notable Artists for under $500’, Artsy Editorial , November 24 (online)
Fitzpatrick, Kyle, ‘Puppy Painting’, Four&Sons , November 16 (online)
Maziar, Paul, ‘Sophie Larrimore at Nationale: Glimpses and Sensations’, Oregon Artswatch , November 7 (online) Goodman, Wendy, ‘Interwar Technicolor Dream House’, New York Magazine , April 3, pp. 59-63.