Judith climbs the wall

24 Jan

What better way to make a get away from the camp: out the window, onto the balcony and over the wall!

Three things I love about Soiman’s fresh and novel interpretation of Judith’s story:

  1. The attitude of Judith, looking up at the viewer as if she has been interrupted in her crime and her escape.  The intense gaze that is both surprised (“What ..? Are you going to stop me and sound an alarm? Or are you going to help me out of this mess?”) and aggressive (“I already decapitated one general tonight.  Do you think I will stop there?”)
  2. The thin drops of crimson blood that trickle from her russet curls and her exposed nipple – almost undetected. (“Nothing to see here.  Just another naked redhead out for a stroll.”)
  3. The little flies upon the wall. Annoying but adding ick to the carnage. Witness to the unfolding drama but unnoticed and able to dart away.

Both elements leaving me with the optimistic feeling that she will accomplish her escape – and be the victor in her mission.


Soiman, “Judith,” 2012, oil on canvas, 80×100 cm, private collection



Fortunately, the artist has a blog written some in English, some in Spanish, some in Hungarian.  The blog is intended to satisfy the curiosity of people like me – who don’t always understand – so as Soiman says (through Google Translate) “why not share it in my head humming melodies, the palate tickling my taste, as they have contributed to the birth of an image in the same way. I hope that if I present the creative process tastes, melodies, the scent through, then the painting seems less strange or abstract, since the palette is just concocts.” 

Okay, maybe my translation is not so great.  The good news is that the English description of the creative process for Judith is very insightful.

This painting is a modernized adaptation of this biblical scene, although there isn’t any description about Judith throwing the head out of the window, but I found interesting this moment as a composition. I saw a Ruud Voerman photo which inspired me a lot, both the composition and the character of the model.


I’ve been thinking about painting a Judith for many years, but I didn’t know how to present her character to be really cruel and charismatic without the bloody scene of swords and murder. Finally my concept was representing her after the homicide as a rigid beauty, so hiding the right side: in an intimate and immaculate milieu, but hiding the left you get the brutal part of the story with depressing elements. (Hopefully) you can perceive this contrast also hiding a side of her face, this tender imagery with delicate features on the left, and the bestial expression on the right.

Oh, bestial. That’s a word I had not applied to Judith before.  Deadly, deceptive, aggressive, scheming, ruthless, remorseless, murderous – yes. Savage, brutish, brutal, barbaric, cruel, carnal, vicious, violent, inhuman, unfeeling – maybe.  Callous, cold-blooded, hard-hearted, harsh – probably.  But bestial? I don’t know …  I’m going to have to think about that …



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Posted by on January 24, 2015 in Whorey


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