Chantal Joffe: 'I don’t find men very interesting to look at’. By Alastair Sooke.
'I paint fast, in a kind of frenzy,” says the 46-year-old British artist Chantal Joffe. “It’s such a great state. I’ve never taken heroin but I imagine that’s what drugs are like. You feel so…” She searches for the right words. “It’s a sort of ecstasy. But it’s also sad, because you know it’s going to end.”
Abruptly she gets up from her paint-spattered chair and scuttles across her large warehouse studio beside a canal in north London. She moved here six months ago, after 10 years in a smaller, adjoining space. “To begin with I felt like a rat in a field,” she says.
She wants to show me a series of pastels that will be seen in her new solo exhibition at the Victoria Miro Gallery in Mayfair. Diminutive oil paintings honouring the American “confessional” poets Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and Robert Lowell, whom she has read all her life, will also be on display...