I am an abstract painter who always paints figures. I am a figurative artist whose figures are the least important, least evolved areas of the rectangle. I paint "pretty" pictures which people find uncomfortable. I paint symbolic objects that have no meaning beyond the idea of the symbol. I paint sharp, small objects which appear irrelevant to the whole. I paint unclear planes and spaces which appear both right & wrong. I think carefully about historical precedents ... today, a condradiction itself. I believe painting should be above all an aesthetic experience of color, form, and space, but write about my conceptual process.
I began the self portrait series after seeing a self portrait by Rauschenberg where his face is covered. It interested me because I have long been determined to avoid painting faces. A face changes a painting psychologically, and the figure can no longer be seen as abstraction. But I was intrigued by what might happen if I used myself, and surprised at the results. The figures became more central, almost against my will. And the paintings became softer, calmer, and I suddenly became clearer about something that has been an unconscious goal of mine for a long time. I realized that what I want to convey is the sense of quiet and self-containment. Using the human body as imagery I am interested in integrating abstract concerns in space and movement within the human form.
Liz Haskel is a painter who lives in Brooklyn, in New York City. She has shown in many galleries and commercial installations in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida, including at Lincoln Center, the Schimmel Center, Westbeth, Ernest Rubenstein, Shakespeare's Sister, and Bloodroot. She received her B.F.A. in painting and printmaking from Cornell University. See the page "About Liz Haskel" at www.lizhaskel.com for a more complete art resume and shows.