Artist's Statement

Paint is liquid matter and therefore the only limitation on its use is the human imagination; having experimented freely in my earlier years, I find I am fundamentally interested in what paint, wielded as it has been for centuries, can still communicate. I utilize traditional materials and techniques: oil paint, linseed oil, wax, liquin, turpentine, and various additives: underpainting, building, and glazing. I am deeply moved by the color of the world; my attention is constantly riveted by the wonder of, for instance, red paint, when it remains only the physical stuff on a surface, or it mysteriously shifts — transforms into meaning — the instant the brain registers recognition, "ah, a rose petal" or a blood stain or tissue. Where is the edge?

I find it tragic to live in a culture where scientific imagination is applauded and artistic imagination is suspect, for they derive from the same search.
Philosophically and politically, it is my opinion that one of the major tasks of the arts in the 21st Century is to relink culture and nature. Intellectually I reject puritanism, dogmas of any description, hegemonies and systems which suppress independent thought or dictate mass response and mass behavior. Intuitively, I feel too much has been discussed and written about painting in this century. There are those of us who need to paint and those of us who need to see paint and those of us who don't care one way or another. The need to paint is in me, a life-force, a metabolic result of my being. It is an essential vent for the intensity of the awe (beauty) and terror (horror) of being alive. It is also an ordering process whereby I might gift back to others, if I am true, a shared experience of the ecstasy of seeing. What drives my vision seems to be the need to locate a particular orientation, a "genetically felt" space in which a simultaneous multiplicity of disparate realities coexist. And if I write that I am in search of an unknown — the deep feminine — I hope I will not be misunderstood. I feel my work may grow closer to silence and become more contemplative as I further mature.

Cynicism, irony, sarcasm, and related postures hold no interest for me. Rather I am drawn to work which engages compassion, suggests the fragility of relationships in all forms, the organic, the simple and elegant, the raw and sensuous, the subtle and certainly the ineffable.

— Ciel Bergman

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