For Tamara Starl-Latour portrait-painting is more than a means to an end. More than image and interpretation. More than a compliment or the visualization of flaws: for years the Viennese painter has been working towards perfection of her art. So her portraits are showing more than just physiognomy, they can also be seen as comments on the state we are in, the spirit of our time.
There are various ways for her to develope topic, subject or personality. The techniques are chosen to most suit the personality of the sitter, maybe minimalistic, just matter of fact, mystical or bombastic and opulent. The artist focusses on those aspects that will be most fascinating, mysterious or intruiging. And often these are characteristics, overlooked or marginalized in everyday life, eliminated from the person's perceptibility.
Tamara Starl-Latour captures life, emphasizing that death is part of it.
Blocking out the dark and frightening components in everyone's life may be understandable and justified, but when depicting a person in his or her wholeness, not only the glamour of youth should be shown but also old age, illness and death, no Ying without Yang.
So death as well. Death, an equally natural part of life as the glamour of youth has lost it´place in public consciousness. More than that, old age, illness and death are tainted with negative, unesthetic connotation, the human seized by it- a throwaway object. Tamara Starl-Latour goes about this through the order of painting steps till the portrait is finished. And as with a lot in life, the dark and the frightening will not be seen in the end, yet it will be there. Under the surface, inside the picture, in aura and soul, in its character.
In the beginning the artist is working intuitively, with the“atmosphere“ around the sitter, an abstract beginning, step by step, towards the figurative visible, the surface.
Tamara Starl-Latour´s term for this access and technique is UNTERMALUNG (what´s underneath). Each step of procedure will allow new interpretation, point of view of subject, picture and personality, and each interpretation will find it´s way to the canvas.
And though the way to the finished painting is like a stringent line to the artist, this is not so obvious for the viewer, because Tamara Starl-Latour´s pictures show life as a cycle: each beginning is marking an end, and the other way round.