Editors' pick

Planning Process: Drawings and Finished Works

Mixed Media
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Editorial Review

You don't have to like orange to appreciate Sam Scharf's "Self Portrait," but it helps.

A dose of visual vitamin C, the work is essentially a walk-in 8-by-8-by-8-foot crate that's painted entirely orange inside. Lit by a single light bulb, the crate contains a tree stump on which to sit and contemplate ... well, what exactly?

Take a hint from the title. It's a portrait, but not of the artist. Rather, it's a mirror, inviting viewers to confront their own feelings -- pleasure, anxiety -- about color, in its purest form. The work, Scharf says, is all about awareness. One viewer described the experience as "invasive." Says Scharf, "I thought that was a positive response."

-- Michael O'Sullivan (Aug. 5, 2011)