The Artist's Gaze: Jeff Faerber
What compels you to the specific women you choose to paint?
I have two pieces in the show. The first one is a painting of my wife. I could list what compels me to paint her, but it would be terribly sappy and cliché ridden pile of tripe. Just imagine the best qualities you can pile into one human and then you have her. The second piece is Hazel Honeysuckle, a NYC burlesque dancer. Part of what drew me to her was her physical beauty, but also her quirky performances that include dressing up as cookie monster and eating cookies while disrobing. Lastly, she has talked about being shy and socially awkward and that becoming a burlesque dancer was a way to jump in the deep end and overcome this shyness. As a shy person, I can relate.
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 made a significant connection with my wife on the fifth or sixth date. From my perspective it looks fairly graphic and explicit,… or poetic and romantic, so I will leave it to the reader’s imagination. I have yet to make a significant connection to Hazel Honeysuckle, because my wife values monotony,… err, I mean monogamy
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.
Greater cultural landscape,… hmm,… not yet. The subject: my wife sure does have a hard time letting my work go to galleries because she is afraid that she will never see the piece again. Hazel Honeysuckle, squweeeed like a kid on Christmas the first time she saw the painting of her [well, technically it was a different painting I did of her].
What is it about your personal journey that has brought your gaze to focus so deeply on women.
Why this visual dialogue? What do you hope to accomplish through your work?
My main goal is to achieve a sense of transcendence that I get when looking at other great work. Bonus points if others get the same feeling from my work, too.
How does your subject make a change in your artist's gaze?
My wife says, “Get rid of my double chin. And tuck that other models tummy a bit,.. jeesh, you are blind to social queues sometimes.”
Tell us about your current series or work and how it may be different from the work submitted for the show (send a few images representing this other work.)
Currently working on some NSFW pieces in my shunga style.