Artist: Esther Alter
Title: “Jonas,” 2018
Dimensions: 12” W x 16” H
Media: watercolor on paper
Artist Statement: Esther Alter is a portrait painter living and working in Brooklyn, New York. As a child of Holocaust survivors, Esther brings to her work profound compassion and responsiveness to others that are borne by living intimately with the history and experiences of those who came before her. She is a mother and grandmother of a large family and has had careers in accounting, teaching, and nursing. Also an avid traveler, she brings into her work a natural curiosity about people, places, and cultures. All this, along with her insightful and authentic nature, comes together to inspire her evocative portrayals of the human condition.
Although Esther also works in oil and pastel, her primary medium is watercolor, as the delicate transparency of watercolor allows her to render portraits that convey the vulnerable and sensitive aspects of her subjects’ character.
While portraits are often depictions of the human face, Alter’s work reveals character from the inside out. Esther invites the viewer into the heart and spirit of her subjects, uncovering their pain, witnessing their despair, and reveling in their hopes and joy. In this process, Alter asks her viewers to practice empathy and self-awareness.
Biography: Esther Alter is a painter based in Brooklyn, New York. In addition to being an artist, Alter has worked as an accountant, a teacher, as well as a registered nurse, all of which inform her art practice. Esther’s art is inspired by the traditions and histories of portraiture, as well as her experience learning from and working with people from all walks of life. Her goal is to share her art as a means of promoting understanding.