But even though Wittenberg has been inspired by ‘landscape nature’ lately, she’s most known for her erotic paintings depicting sensual scenes of intimacy such as kisses, nudes, orgies and oral sex – even if it’s commercially unadvisable to do so, she affirms that “when I see something I want to paint, I just have to paint it; I can’t bring myself to make something that I don’t believe in.”
Wittenberg’s practice though spans way beyond sex. In her college years, she got praised for a series of bedroom paintings inspired by her childhood memories, which she painted when she was stuck in bed recovering from a back surgery and plagued by “reoccurring dreams of being held down, trapped in my room, trapped in my bed, trapped in my body” – very Frida Kahlo. And throughout her career, the time-space dimension has played an important role too, for example, by doing ‘Skype portraits’ and incorporating the glitches into the final works. In today’s interview, the New York-based painter tells us more about her life, the porn that inspires her, and how she’s lived these past turbulent months.