I pursue interaction and perception from my role as observer, occupied by the unremarkable and the relationships that exist within our everyday exchanges. My interests lie in what painter and writer Mira Schor has identified as “modest painting,” what she describes as “the small, unimportant, the anonymous, the private and personal.” Reflecting direct encounters within my environment, I work with still life, portraiture, and landscape, the pillars of perceptual painting. Drawing from the quotidian and familiar, I navigate the space between seeing and describing, interpretation and invention.
In recent paintings, houseplants are surrogates for figures, plant portraits that entangle with vivid backdrops or sit unadorned on studio furniture. Sweet or ostentatious motifs speak to the allover patterning found in nature while they recall bedsheets, wallpaper, or couch cushions, the stuff of home. In paintings of casual bunches and composed bouquets of flowers, I embrace affiliations with femininity. The flowers represent an exchange, too, a gesture and a marking of time. Due to the overt beauty of this subject matter, I think of the work as nonthreatening, benign but with the potential to seduce or disarm. I want these paintings to feel lush, verdant, and abundant, a restorative balm by way of pure visual pleasure.
Christina Renfer Vogel holds a MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and a BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Recently her work has been included in a solo exhibition at the David Lusk Gallery (Nashville, TN) and group exhibitions at the Asheville Art Museum (Asheville, NC) and LABspace (Hillsdale, NY). Vogel has participated in artist residencies including the JSS in Civita program (Civita Castellana, Italy), the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (Amherst, VA), and the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT). She is a recipient of a Lighton International Artists Exchange Program grant and an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant, among other awards. Vogel currently serves as associate professor of painting and drawing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.