Sophia Narrett and Paul Rouphail Explore The Strangeness of Familiarity
Jack Barrett is showing A Heart-Shaped Face, which features the work of Sophia Narrett and Paul Rouphail. Both artists, through the mediums of thread and paint respectively, are invested in formal arrangement. Like Zubaran’s carefully constructed “bodegones,” or Manet’s crowds, the placement of people and items possesses equal parts objectivity and sensuality. The spaces in Narrett’s and Rouphail’s work are orchestrated and rendered in seductive clarity, emphasizing the strangeness of a seemingly familiar domestic world.
Sophia Narrett’s intricately constructed textile works show women, often unclothed, in the midst of puzzling scenes full of sexual confrontation and contradiction. In "Choices," a woman contemplates three men before her, unaware of the game-like patterns on the backs of their jackets. Her peer is perched on wrought iron garden furniture with her legs spread, tenuously grasping a balloon that floats overhead. In another work, a lone figure in a sherbet-colored finished basement drags her hand along a blue shag rug to draw a heart.
In Paul Rouphail’s "Cherry Picker," a fleeting, careful vandalism plays out on a blurred windowpane. A moment of schadenfreude arises as lit matches burn cherries on a vector of a graph and an origami hummingbird, half devoured by flame, meets our gaze with a googly eye. Mustard squeezed along the glass surface and an unfolded grocery list completes the graph. Sophia Narrett’s "Grin" freezes a similarly precarious instant as a naked woman is hoisted upside down over a cobblestone path by a bemused man in a white tuxedo. Her smile is unmistakable, there is an element of exhilaration in her predicament. Embroidered hearts appear in orange foliage and elsewhere twisted out of banana peels.