blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1


PIVOT POINTS  |  Third Generation Painter

Valerie Bogdan

George Baselitz said, "I am responsible to no one for my work. I am not a member. No matter how ugly my work may be, no one will bang on my head and blame me for the misery." I have tried to make this my mantra.

My paintings are not concerned with looking acceptable or polite. Through their willingness to be misunderstood, they have found the freedom to take risks. They might appear messy or muddy. They are often thick and labored. The paint is scraped, sanded, peeled, poured, slathered and slopped.

Their subject is simple; they capture an extraordinary moment in an ordinary experience. In this way, they come directly from life. "Bushwick Daze" recalls a year spent living in a Brooklyn ghetto. A case of nervousness ruined an important job interview, but later the experience became a painting called "Stage Fright." My study of Tai Chi is translated into "Flow System."

Paintings to which I often refer are Soutine's "Carcass of Beef," Turner's "Burning of the Houses of Parliament" and Goya's "The Third of May." These are the sources from which I learned paintings could be brutally honest, exceedingly dramatic and utterly fearless.  

 Flow System    Stage Fright    Bushwick Daze

   Notes and Acknowledgments
   Levis Reading Loop