Christina Tarkoff Oil Paintings

Painting the People & Places of Philadelphia & Beyond

"City Girls" at the Barnes!

Christina Tarkoff

Let’s Connect Barnes Exhibition/Competition

May 21–June 4, 2018 

About the Barnes Competition

During the Barnes’ Let’s Connect open call, artists throughout Philadelphia were given free access to the Barnes and asked to select a work of art in the collection to use as a departure point for creating their own work of art.

Artwork submitted by artists to the Let’s Connect competition will be displayed at the Barnes from May 21-June 4, 2018. During that time, the public and a team of curators can vote for the artwork they feel best conveys an original interpretation of the Barnes artwork.

Winners of the competition will be invited to a three-month residency in the Mural Arts Studio at the Barnes, provided a $1,000-per-month expense allowance, given come-and-go access to the Barnes, and asked to connect to the public by hosting open studio hours.

Register to Vote!

Online registration to vote opens May 10, 2018. I will post a link when it's available.

Why I painted “City Girls”

While searching through the online Barnes Collection to find inspiration for the Let's Connect competition, I stumbled upon "Country Girls" by Edith Dimock. The painting immediately struck me.

For several months, I have been trying to formulate, "Girl Power," a painting about three young girls enjoying a summer afternoon in Washington Square Park. Unhappy with my compositions, I locked the girls away in the artist-block portion of my brain.

I knew immediately, that "Country Girls" is not only an inspiration for Let's Connect, but it is my compositional solution to "Girl Power."

Despite the differences in time & culture, "Country Girls" communicates the female bonding message I hope to send with "Girl Power." With arms interlocked, Edith's girls are enjoying their time together and finding strength in each other.

Although Edith's medium is watercolor/gouache and I paint in oil. Edith's composition is simple, elegant, and conveys the camaraderie and the youth of the girls. As expected, the painting is even more captivating in person.

I returned home from the Barnes outing and immediately started sketching studies for my "Girl Power" painting. Along the way, I changed the name from "Girl Power" to "City Girls" to more closely compare/contrast to "Country Girls."

"Country Girls" reflects an earlier time, "City Girls" reflects current times. My paintings tell stories that cross traditional barriers such as age, income, education & race to help us understand the most important art of all — the art of being human. Such as the simple story of girls enjoying a beautiful day in a beautiful city park.