Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Meet Eric Fischl

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The way I would paint in the early paintings, I'd take a 3 by 5 inch snapshot,

and I had a film loop, and I'd look at that

figure, and I would like then try to paint and draw it onto the canvas.

Then I'd be sitting there going oh I really wish it was turned the other way,

and then I'd have to erase it, and sort of flip it around in my head

reversing what I was seeing.

It became a very arduous kind of a process and then Photoshop comes along.

In the 'Family Portrait of the Clementes,'

the experience of photographing them was very funny because they were

not wanting to be in the same moment with each other. There they were, you know, skulking around in the background or they were

coming in late and had to be sort of Photoshopped into that moment or, you know, whatever.

They were moving in different spaces in different ways.

Literally pulling them together for the portrait was a collage, not a,

you know, frozen moment.

I wanted there to be a sense of that

kind of pulling together and fragmenting,

that collage effect has. You'll see that there's an

irrationality to space and planes in it. There's a,

the bench that the two daughters are sitting on

comes in at an impossible angle.

There's a

shift in the speed of the background from a focused one side to a blurred other side.

You know, there's a

scale shift that takes place between

the figures in the family. All of those things I felt were

expressive of the moment that I, the experience that I had in trying to

capture this family.

Sculpture I arrived at much later.

I began making sculpture in 1986-87 something like that.

The tragedy and trauma of 9/11 was that

3,000 people died, but you saw no bodies.

It was a disappearance. It was hard to find closure for

this trauma. The only thing that we really saw

was the people who jumped or fell from the buildings and that was censored very quickly.

Anyone who saw those images or saw the actual thing that

was the indelible experience. That was the one that drove home the terror and

the horror of that event. I was watching it on television the way most Americans were watching it and

at some point in the midst of this horror, this tragedy,

I had this very strong feeling that if artists were ever needed,

now would be the time that they were needed. That began my thinking process of

how would I respond to this

tragedy? How would I respond to this horror?

I had this very strong feeling that we had been thrown off balance in a profound way.

That we were, in fact, almost like sagebrush we were all in the state of

tumbling along and

out of it I created this sculpture called 'Tumbling Woman.'

I made it purposefully a

female, but with a sort of masculine

torso as well, so that it pulled both the male and female

into a

singularity, because to me represented all of us.

But, I wanted it to be a female, because the female

historically brings with it

ideas of nurturing and


You know, the

need and desire in men to protect, things like that. So, I felt that added to the

experience that I was looking for.

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