About a Girl
Westhafer’s paintings reimagine the past as a salve for the present. The artist pulls motifs and events from childhood memories as inspiration for her new painted narratives, recalling occasionally emotional events that are then reconstituted from a safer, present perspective and instilled with new meaning, undercutting any lingering darkness or insecurity with a deft imbuement of dark humor.
The characters that populate her paintings serve as stand-ins for adolescent trailblazing. At a period in life when every slight, success, setback, and milestone occurs with seemingly life or death stakes, her flexible figures almost adapt in real time to Westhafer’s staged seismic or quotidian happenings.
Scenes are adorned with styles and color schemes from a not so distant past, suggesting an un-contemporaneousness transposition. While the forms of her figures are exaggerated, with elongated limbs and bulbous eyes that skew extraterrestrial, Westhafer grounds our interpretations with eminently relatable scenarios, like a solo movie screening or a rainy day walk. Through the large lenses of her outsized figures, we are empowered to revisit our own pasts and see them with a slightly rosier hue.