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Art & Life with Beth Fiedorek

Today we’d like to introduce you to Beth Fiedorek.

Beth, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m a painter. I started to understand painting’s sacredness while in college at Yale under professor Robert Reed. His approach struck a nerve with me because it is all about change. I had always felt a strong sense of non-belonging, and this practice gave me a place to grow outside of life’s constrictions. For a while, I tried to be an art conservator instead of an artist, working in labs, but in the end, my work felt more important. Since finishing my MFA at CalArts, I’ve found most of my employment in ceramic-related studios. My fascination for chemistry, science and systems is finding a home in the material back-and-forth between painting and clay.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My work revolves around stories and humor. An allegory is a useful tool for me. With allegory there can be a strong idea without a firm conclusion, where meaning expands and refracts through different modes: representation, abstraction, image, mark, bright, dark, etc. There’s a fluidity. In formal terms, traditional oil painting has a fairly limited range of sensory tools, and I find these limitations interesting to work with. How are you going to make something so old feel new again? Perhaps even more than this, there’s a biased heroism to many historical modes of painting that feels like an abuse of its power. We need alternatives: I’m inspired by artists like Kerry James Marshall and Jana Euler who are finding ways to reframe or poke holes in the narrative.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
I cherish solitude, but loneliness is its painful evil twin. I don’t believe there’s any one path for anyone, except that you have to do work and do what is yours. Your community doesn’t need to be enormous — two or three ongoing conversations is more than enough to keep me going.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
One of my paintings will appear in an exhibition I’m curating, which will take place at the Art Center College of Design’s new downtown Los Angeles gallery. The show is organized with Loves Remedies, a fabulous project my friends run and where I previously facilitated a reading group. I will also exhibit a recent group of paintings where the main allegory is a confrontation between a lamp and a candle. My Instagram is the best place to learn when and where to find my projects.

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Image Credit:
Gary Fox, Sydney Mills

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