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Art Archive - 2005

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Show Dates: 2005-09-01 - 2005-09-30
Title: Recent Works
Artist: Emily Bennett Beck

My work stems from a desire to converse with and confront viewers through paintings. I paint from an awareness that my portraits, of men and of women, are fueled by images fed through my subconscious. These images may be influenced from my personal life experiences, societal images, and general subconscious thoughts I’ve developed throughout my life as a female in the United States.

I like to toe the line between ‘solving’ visual clues in the paintings and creating in them eternal questions. In general, I treat my subjects with a mixture of cold and often times cruel handling contrasted with an almost mothering sense of concern and care. I am mimicking the way I feel the characters might be seen or treated through others eyes. My female subjects are all aware that they are women and for the most part are aware that they are being looked at. Some stare down the viewer and almost create a blocked feeling to the painting, while others appear as welcoming as game show hosts, nearly mocking themselves and the invisible institutions from which they come. I tend to make art-historical references that generally highlight the disquiet of the paintings.

In general, I like to play with awareness. As the artist, I am aware of the history of art and of being a member of American Society. Because of this, I am well versed on images of women. I want the viewer to be aware that the painting is challenging them or their culture in some way. I want the viewer to be aware that these paintings have been created with a woman’s hand and perhaps wonder at how the artist decided to describe the subject. Finally, I would like simply to add a little depth to images of people and leave the viewer wanting more.

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