Alex Katz on Painting Your Own Backyard

March 23, 2020

“My father said why don’t you paint your own backyard. Which is extremely intelligent and I resented it a great deal. I couldn’t see a picture in the backyard. All I saw was a mess. But I kept the idea — the idea seemed like a really good one: paint your backyard, paint what’s in front of you, don’t paint anyone else’s backyard.”

— Alex Katz

As Katz suggests, there is something to painting what is yours, familiar, and there, offering your mind the freedom of creativity. And there is power in giving attention and importance to the daily and mundane in your life. Gideon Bok’s paintings of his studio depict the passage of time in the most familiar of places, the one right in front of him. His studio is his repeated subject, each time showing furniture, objects, figures and light as they move and shift, and each time exploring different conceptual and formal aspects of painting.

Gideon Bok, TVC-15, oil on linen, 35x55"

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