Developed as an adjunct to the exhibition Dive Deep: Eric Fischl and the Process of Painting, this 35-minute film is a co-production with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia. It is comprised of excerpts from interviews conducted by PAFA Director Harry Philbrick and
Associate Curator Jodi Throckmorton of the San Jose Museum of Art in California at Fischl’s Long Island and New York City studios. The film charts the course of the artist’s creative process from his days as a student at California Institute of the Arts to the present.
Fischl speaks candidly and with a comedic sense about his schooling – breaking away from minimal abstraction, revolting against the suggestion that painting was dead, particularly figurative painting, as well as finding his own voice. He is generous in the detail of his approach, sharing questions he attempts to answer in his paintings along with the challenges of composition, concluding, “at a certain point paintings paint themselves. You just carry out what (they’re) telling you to do. You can’t change it.”
Fischl works throughout the film in various media – paint, photography, sculpture and watercolor – moving effortlessly between each whilst opining on their respective merits. He lets us in on his influences, including the sculpture of Auguste Rodin and the paintings and photographs of Thomas Eakins. What connects them to his own broad body of work is the human figure; Fischl states, “ I am interested in the relationship that a person has with their body. Their body is this interface between an internal world of feeling, self-regard, self loathing and this socialized world of availability signals, desire… you read all that. And that’s the stuff that I am riveted to…that’s the thing I find the most compelling about watching people.”
Patricia Miranda is an artist, educator, and curator, using interdisciplinary projects to make connections between art, science, history and culture. She is founder of MAPSpace, a project space in Port Chester, NY, where she implemented a collaborative workspace residency program. She has been Visiting Artist at Vermont Studio Center, the Heckscher Museum, and University of Utah, and been awarded residencies at I-Park, Weir Farm, and Vermont Studio Center. She has received grants from ArtsWestchester/New York State Council on the Arts, and was part of a yearlong NEA grant working with homeless youth in Westchester County. Miranda is Practitioner-in-Residence in the BFA program at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven, and served as director and curator of the Gallery at Concordia College-NY from 2008-12. Miranda develops education programs for K-12, museums, and institutions, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution, and Franklin Furnace. She has exhibited at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY; the Cape Museum of Fine Art, Cape Cod MA; the Belvedere Museum, Vienna Austria; Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY; and Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, NY.