Junge Frau (bunt) is a rare color example of Gerhard Richter's early photo-paintings based on amateur snapshots. In discussing his source material, the artist remarked that he found "(m)any amateur photographs [to be] more beautiful than a Czanne." (quoted in The Daily Practice of Painting, p. 66) Richter began copying found (primarily black-and-white) photographs in 1962 as a means to "correct" his way of seeing influenced by personal vision and artistic training. According to the artist:
... if I paint from a photograph, I can forget all the criteria that I get from these sources. I can paint against my will, as it were. And that, to me, felt like an enrichment." (quoted in ibid, p. 66)
The decision to render a mechanical process by hand was inspired by what Richter has described as the "anti-artistic" comic-book paintings of Roy Lichtenstein. Nonetheless, the final paintings are far less precise than those of the American Pop artist. Once the photographic image has been duplicated, Richter wipes a soft dry brush across the wet-paint surface to create his characteristic blur effect. The blurring not only creates the impression of camera-shake, but also distorts the image and creates a mysteriously haunting effect. By blurring, the colors slip away from their represententive function and seem to take on a life of their own, thereby anticipating Richter's later abstract explorations.