Today I went downtown to see and support an old RISD colleague, Nicole Eisenman, as she spoke about her work at the Denver Art Museum. For me it was somewhat of a time traveling experience. I felt as if I were sitting in a crit room, only this time, instead of listening to her speak about a body of work built over a year of exploration and effort, Nicole spoke about bodies of work which spanned decades . It was great to catch up in the brief time we had before and especially after her presentation, and it was good to see her and her work and to talk about “pushing paint around on canvas to see what it can do”. Nicole’s work, however, moves well beyond that and offers a challenging and humorous peek, often through an art historical lens and definitely through the experience of a woman working with issues of feminine identity in New York, at our culture and times. Check out the DAM and recent works including Nicole’s at:
I came back to the studio ready to paint and reflect on the distance I’ve come, figuratively speaking, in my work since moving from New York.
Since New York I’ve been creating paintings I want people to feel drawn or compelled to walk into, almost like an open stage set. One should feel engulfed. In this way, the viewer should, in essence, become the subject within the painting. These ‘places’ are first scenes my unconscious mind creates, both on a visceral level while painting, as well as in the hypnagogic state just before sleep. Though, I must submit that, as Nicole said today, “It is painting itself , isn’t it, which compels you to do it”.