Chloe Wise is one of the avant-garde artists who puts women at the center of the canvas, not as objects of desire, but as human beings with their own strength of character. The women she paints do not apologize for being there, they take up all the space on the canvas, looking the viewer in the eye. On the borderline between surrealism and portraiture, her work brings subjects to light in a non-idealized way and without giving herself air: she paints the person as she is, as if she had taken a photo, with the perfect imprecision of her brush.
Through her paintings, Chloe criticizes our consumer culture, the false ideas of an ideal of beauty, and the need to have a clear, constructed identity that would fit into a mold. She often includes herself in her work with self-portraits, a sign that she does not necessarily feel outside the drifts she criticizes, but rather sometimes a victim or participant of this patriarchal and consumerist society that she highlights with humor and derision.
Be a Cake (2018) combines classical portrait techniques with defiance specific to our time, playing with light, the almost surreal composition, the symbol of this cushion in the shape of a hand or in the shape of a foot, one could not say. What is certain is that the time when women were served on a plate for the pleasure of men, is finished. The woman is now a strong and independent figure, who allows herself all the narcissism she wants by looking at herself – or at us – in the mirror with an air of indifference mixed with contempt. Mirror, mirror, I now look at you and I know that my days of servitude are over.