Sophie Calle is An Inspiration

photo courtesy of Sonam Mistry
If you don't know about her, you should. Sophie Calle is one of the most innovative contemporary artists around--male or female. Check out this recent interview in Interview Magazine and any of her amazing publications such as Sophie Calle: Did You See Me?. (Another great gift idea pour moi! Just sayin')

Sophie and I share a love for the human condition and the absurd and magical everyday moments that make up this life. I paint them. She re-enacts them, photographs them and transforms them into what she thinks they should be. One example? She took a job as a hotel cleaning lady so that she could spy on guests and document their belongings through photographs... You can read more about that in Sophie Calle: Double Game.

My favorite Sophie piece is the first one I saw in a fantastic self-portrait show at the Vancouver Art Gallery years ago. It featured portraits from many artists and hers wasn't a portrait at all, but rather a photograph of an unmade bed. Above it was a letter to her lover. It was so moving and it inspired this diptych I painted of my own bed, with figure and without/ before and after the moment:

Bed, 4x6 each, oil and encaustic on canvas,


Colleen Leonard Photography said...

I first learned about Sophie Calle at the Regina Dunlop Library Gallery if you can believe it! Way before I lived in France. Her Prenez Soin de Toi at the Bibliothèque Nationale was amazing, as much for the place as for the work itself. Do you know Christian Boltanski and Annette Messager, they are French art stars too and I am sure you would love their work.

Anonymous said...

great paintings - I really liked the one with the bed and then the figure. ! I was searching for info on Sophie Calle when I came across to your blog :) I´m also a painter, currently doing master´s degree in painting in Glasgow School of Art (my website:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I recognize those legs. :)


Post a Comment