Zoë Charlton

Zoë Charlton



NorthEast Region of USA
Zoe Charlton

One column in Zoë Charlton’s lively studio is covered with book and magazine images of ancient Greek kouros figures and modern body-builders. On her desk are a collection of African masks. These images—from both high and low culture—inspire her, as does drawing the figure from life. Charlton identifies herself as a “draw-er”—one who makes drawings—often of nude males. They confront the viewer with their directness, scale, and unabashed nakedness.
In a series called Festoon, Charlton collages colorful stickers to create dense fields of saturated beauty—spaces that are either inhabited or worn by her hand-drawn figures. The men depicted here may wear on their backs a massive accumulation of trees or ships or animals, suggesting both the weight of the world and the wellspring of human desire and longing.

My content is very particular and it also starts to shift depending on the person that I’m drawing. I’m interested in ideas of privilege and empowerment and power and the signifiers that illustrate those ideas.

— Zoë Charlton