My body of work, while all taking the format of portraiture, can be assessed in two genres: figurative and abstract. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my abstract works are highly psychological, stemming from family trauma, growing up with a special needs sibling, eating disorders and struggles with my own mental health. The paintings are a part of an intuitive process which I try to make as freeing as possible. This means a visible hand, bristles on the canvas, and no predetermined palette. It is finished when I have translated the aforementioned traumas into something beautiful.
On the other hand, my paintings of girls are more rooted in the physical world. They are products of an entanglement between love and hate and immersion and exclusion. They come from a world in which at one point I longed to be a part of, then somehow found myself in the middle, while at that same time still feeling a sense of rejection. I figured that if I can never fully have these things that I long for (tangible and not), painting them will some how make them mine. Growing up in a wealthy town, not fitting in, external and internal battles, emotional suppression, New York City, the internet, influencers, a generation being influenced by influencers: are all pieces of things I’ve experienced and observed which fuel this work. They are both extensions from me and also far removed; I’m still figuring out how that works.
-Sasha Alexandra Oratz