Jen Bekman Projects


6 spring street
new york city 10012
tel: 212.219.0166

jen bekman

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Clare Grill :: images | statement | bio | press release   | press mentions  

artist statements: :: Clare Grill | What You're Told

I didn't dare eat candy during Lent because the saints were watching. Our old house was haunted – our dad said so. We imagined a wolf roamed our neighborhood because it was fun to be scared. I thought our family was ideal. I believed in Santa until I was 13. I clung tightly to the things I was taught, my heavy cloaks of security. Like most, I've unraveled them slowly and steadily, being careful not to rip out all the seams through the years.

I think about the beliefs and stories that were handed down to me and I reinterpret them in my paintings. Family folklore, backyard rituals, religious sacraments, ghost stories, church, school, obedience and trust in what you're told are among my subjects. The things we're taught can be learned a thousand different ways. I like for the familiar to seem a little unfamiliar and complicated, because it is.

I look at images from the past as I work because they're heartbreaking and so haunting – what was never can be again. I mess with my imagery, layering and wearing it away until I've made a painting that makes you notice the paint as much as the pictures.