It’s Not Always Pretty by Eleni Litt
acrylic on canvas
16 x 12 inches
Year Created: Over time from 2015-2020
“The work developed over time and may have started as a place to dump unused paint from another painting. I find that the other painting can often be more interesting than the one I’m working on. And that is surely the case here. In the process of creating this work, I kept noticing that I wanted it to look pretty even as I liked what was emerging. The result feels true. So much can be seen in the dark that cannot necessarily be seen in the brightness of day.”
Artist’s Connection to Theme: Notions as to what is considered pretty permeate every corner of society and can be oppressive as we humans seek to live authentic lives. Whether it’s making a pretty painting that will sell or dressing in such a way that others will say how nice I look … pretty can sometimes be a distraction, an obstacle, and ultimately a burden. I like this painting, even if it’s not pretty in any conventional sense and metaphorically it is also a self-portrait - multi-layered, complex, and compelling.
Image Description: Layers of acrylic paints one on top of the other with a pronounced black rectangle in the center. On the black acrylic rectangle are some yellow lines - perhaps depicting steps, or cracks of light.
Eleni Litt has always made art or at least scribbled, doodled, colored, and played around with art supplies and all kinds of other mark making tools. She didn’t always have the language for her inconsistent, off and on creative practice, except to know that tremendous healing is the ongoing outcome. Over time, she developed a teaching practice that modeled and encouraged others to make art from their own responses to life’s stories using shapes, colors, and words, even as they honed their own skills. While Eleni has shown her work in any number of juried and group shows (and even had a solo show in 2013) she is at times ambivalent about showing her work, some of which is very personal with parts of her story hiding in plain sight. She has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics as well as Certificates in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design, and Creative Arts Therapies from The New School where she works as Associate Provost of Faculty Affairs.
Frame: Wrapped canvas on wood frame.
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