The Artist's Gaze: Judith Peck
Judith Peck Current Work
When do you know you have made a significant connection to your subject and what does that feel or look like from your perspective?
I jump into a painting with an idea or inspiration, but I’m waiting for the germ of truth to appear. It’s nuanced, and sometimes I run over it or never get there. It is an excavation process, and I look for that breakthrough moment. It is the deeper explorations, the question of existence, the workings of the mind, heart and spirit that I’m here to explore. I work until the moment I feel a work is complete and that anything I might add is now false and unnecessary.
Tell us about a strong reaction you have received to your work and the impact you sense it has made on the subject, viewer or the greater cultural landscape.
A few years ago, while my work was at Aqua, one of the satellite fairs at Art Basel Miami, I had a particularly memorable experience. I always meet a lot of collectors, curators and artists who are trained in what to say when seeing artwork and have had made some important connections, wonderful conversations, as well as a number of sales. When a woman and her young child came in to the room they gravitated to my work and asked if I would allow her daughter to photograph it. Her daughter had some kind of a toy camera. When the little girl showed me my work covered with her added "fairy kisses" I got so emotional. It was extremely moving to see the child's innocent expression on my paintings. That core connection is the very reason I paint.
What is it about your personal journey that has brought your gaze to focus so deeply on women.
Although I might draw on personal life experience, especially growing up feeling like an observer, not quite belonging–something I think is quite common with artists, as it allows us the space we need–I think of my real subject being the human interior and I find most women are more open with their emotion.
Why this visual dialogue? What do you hope to accomplish through your work?
I look at the tragedies happening in the world today and the history we have created to arrive at this particular moment, and I cannot help but dwell on the unreason of it all. I want to use art to express the idea that, individually, we all have the same hopes and dreams regardless of geography or time. I especially want to portray the power of universal, mutual connections formed through the common experience of striving. Although any of us can be overwhelmed and feel helpless, the human spirit universally continues to hope. I try to show that we can, despite rifts across people and cultures, transcend those breaks through forming new bonds with each other. I want to inspire people to move towards those bonds.
Tell us about your current series or work and how it may be different from the work submitted for the show.
I’ve started re-revealing some of the shards in my new work, actually sanding off some of the paint after completing the work. I am thinking, we can be whole, despite being unable to cover all the real-life breaks.