In high school, I was known for my creativity. I was a painter and I was the president of Art Club and I was generally aesthetically focused. I still aim in many ways but my painting abilities are not what they used to be; in fact, they were never really “that great” but it was fun and people enjoyed it. I’ve recently tried to get back into painting and—Jesus.—I’m fucking awful. I’ve been trying to pull inspiration to help guide my jagged, unfocused depictions of everyday life, hoping to “land” on some sort of style. I’ve found that the work of Stephanie Ho has helped me out immensely.
Ho’s paintings are large and small depictions of groups of people, masses where a single person is a freckle on a plain. She doesn’t focus on detail but instead gets the “idea” of a person across—and that’s what I’ve latched onto: I focus too much on detail and, after failing, flagellate myself for being “bad at art.” Instead, I’m trying to learn from Ho: get the idea of a person or place across. Not in the expressionistic, “feeling” way but get their outline, their senses onto a canvas.
Her style is very much “an idea” of people, instead zooming out to see how humans as a tangle instead of a string operate. She views us as a blob, a very macrocosmic and sometimes funny anti-contemporary fawning over each of us as little snowflakes. We’re bits in a bucket of bits and bits and bits. I love that about her. That’s always been something I’ve struggled with and her art is all about letting the individual go opting to show the similarities in all.
I don’t know why her work hasn’t gotten more attention: it’s so cool. A little unvaried, sure, but they’re quite good looking—and detailed. She also has afforded herself the opportunity to play with color and the theme of the mass, sometimes placing these people in lines and in quadrants for viewers to zoom in and zoom out of. It’s like a non-objective Where’s Waldo?, which is truly a fun concept. Catch more of her work here.