Wednesday, May 14, 2008

my art crush

Susan Rothenberg has, ever since the day i first saw her painting butterfly, 1976 my sophomore year at college, been my super-hero favorite art crush. My graduate school application portfolio would, embarrassingly, prove my slavish devotion. (Can you say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery?)
To this day, if i see anything of hers i have a visceral, physical reaction- it's hard not to. There are other painters that i love, Alice Neel, Philip Guston, just to name a couple. But i have unflinchingly answered the question "who's your favorite artist?", a tough question that normally would be almost unfair to ask, with the same answer since that day in 1992.
I found this quote, for which i could find no author, but which perfectly verbalizes the experience of viewing a Rothenberg painting;
“In her painting the body meets the world in the form of an emblem, like a sign in the sand, formed hesitantly by a person attempting to represent something for the first time. She opens in us a new kind of perception, joining our intuitive inner selves with external reality.”
Joining our intuitive inner selves
external reality.
No small feat for paint and canvas.
Here's to never outgrowing our first hero crushes-
who are yours?

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