Eric Fischl, Mary Boone Gallery, NY, NY
That’s what I am doing right now, reading his autobiography Bad Boy. I had been interested in Fischl’s painting for quite some time now, although I had seen very little of them. Many of his ‘psychosexual tableaux’ were just a ‘bit over the top’ for me, but others I found quite interesting. What finally got me interested in his work was reading his comments about his paintings and style of working. I found him to be an extremely intelligible and intelligent writer who squarely addressed what he is doing and why he is doing it, without the usual art-speak that accompanies such discourse. His book is the same way. I am finding it utterly fascinating, although it reveals more about the art world than I probably want to know.
Just now I have been wrestling as to how do approach some of my portrait/people work and when I ran across his explanation of how he approaches his figurative paintings, I was hooked: “..Painting is about trying to get to that instant that is pregnant with some special kind of energy. Done right, there’s an exquisite tension in the picture that comes from a precise set of relationship – between forms on an abstract level and between people on an image level. Finding where to arrest the action, where to stop time, is where the artistry lives. The most dramatic moments are the moments just before or just after something happens. The viewer entering the scene at those moments rushes to complete the narrative with his or her own association and feeling…” [Bad Boy, p. 101]
The painter Gini Lawson as neat take on Fischl’s work on her blog.