Theresia Innerhofer’s bright and playful portraits depict her pet cows, revealing the distinctive personalities of each animal. Living in Hollersbach, Austria, she draws inspiration from the animals on her family farm. Majestic bulls, mellow heifers, and mischievous calves are rendered in painterly strokes or smooth pools of acrylic, their expressive eyes and lively antics often captured in loving detail. In the background, wet splashes of paint indicate the cows’ rambunctious movement or frolicsome attitude, their characters emoting through Innerhofer’s careful portrayal. Indeed, Innerhofer doesn’t just paint the physicality of her animals, she paints their soul.
An exuberant depiction in teal, orange, and red, Innerhofer’s Hupfauf is a bright and expressive interpretation of a kicking heifer. The composition explodes with tension and drama as we catch the animal in what could be an act of playfulness or an act of aggression. The abstracted background, black with specks and sprays of yellow, mimics the splash of hooves in mud and water. Innerhofer’s careful, even sentimental portrayal of her beloved companion pays homage to the unbridled spirit of the animal while highlighting the intricate nature of the relationships that bind man and animal.