Camile Sproesser: The Slap

Camile Sproesser

Artwork’s Title: The Slap, 2019

Materials Used: Oil on linen

Studio Based: VCCA – Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, United States

Camile Sproesser, The Slap, oil on linen, 150 x 130 cm, 2019

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

It usually begins with a feeling that leads me to a central idea that can be an action like sleeping or fighting or some creature, animal or some strange vision on my mind. I make a sketch on the iPad and it serves like a map to the painting. Then I draw this initial map on the canvas and get the paint done. Sometimes it changes a lot from the original idea but most of the time it doesn’t.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Fierce, enigmatic, mischievous.

Would you use another three different words to describe the ‘Slap’ painting?

Playful, combative, vibrant.

How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?

I was making research when I figured out that there’s fascist and Nazi uniforms to sell on Amazon. And that there’s people who actually buys it. That disturbed me a lot and I was on the studio on residence thinking about the next painting. So I began to draw on paper some strong woman slapping one of those people who dress a fascist uniform in 2019. That I can’t do in real life, to slap someone in the face, I wouldn’t do that. But I sure can depict a fascist being slapped and falling.

What colour is used the most in this painting?


Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Katherine Bradford, Jill Mulleady, Calvin Marcus, Dana Schutz, Peter Doig, Danny Fox, Nicole Einsenman, Fritz Schoulder and many more.

How do you know when this painting was finished?

The last thing I did was to paint that dog jumping on her leg, that is kind of trying to copulate with it lol. Before, it could look violent and pamphleteer. With the dog, the composition was finished because it got to a point that is possible to laugh about it. I like to laugh about my aggressiveness, to make something fun out of it.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

It was an amazing studio full of that Virginia special light and a lot of space at the VCCA.

Is there any particular message that you wish your viewers can take from this painting?

That it was made in a period of social political calamity, when everything is urgent and on fire, the forests are burning, the people are starving and being murdered by the state in many places around the earth. It feels like the apocalypse in Brazil of Bolsonaro and governor Joao Doria. It’s an Era of extreme ignorance and wickedness. An artist went to my studio and told me “it is a very humorous way of making politics” when he saw it.

What does your mum think about your art?

She has a great time around my paintings. She was always very supportive so she must find it interesting.

Which exhibition did you visit last?

Goya, Tiepolo and Fragonard at the Kunsthalle Hamburg and Baselitz, Richter, Polke, Kiefer at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Tiepolo and the early Baselitz blowed my mind. At the Kunsthalle I saw some Kichner paintings that I really connect with, like, the flat painting and vibrant colors. There, I also found the outstanding work of Alma Tadema.

Which are your plans for the near future?

I have a solo show in Sao Paulo on the first semester with the curator Ricardo Sardenberg and will be a fellow on the Mass Moca’s Studios on late May.

Additional Paintings

Camile Sproesser, Ronda, oil on linen, 110 x 90 cm, 2019
Camile Sproesser, The Sleepers, oil on linen, 110 x 95 cm, 2019
Camile Sproesser, Self-portrait as a Succubus, oil on canvas, 70 x 50 cm, 2018

©All images are courtesy of the artist

2 thoughts on “Camile Sproesser: The Slap

  1. Congrats Camile. As your father I just want to say your painting is the mirror of your soul. Keep going.
    Antonio Sproesser

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