I like to think that my paintings are rooted in history. I use traditional techniques
such as layering of paint, washes and glazes. The surfaces are responsive to local
light and the movement of the viewer, creating changes of appearance in the colors,
tones, and textures. These traditional techniques allow me to achieve qualities
of paint that are both provocative and flexible.
In contrast, my aesthetic desire is to paint something fresh and in the moment. I
find myself on a road that is leading me towards more and more minimalism. The world
today seems so full that instinctively my paintings move towards quiet contemplation,
a visual massage, both soothing and invigorating. This minimal direction is not
intended to put less there, but to isolate the visual dynamics so that they can directly
affect the emotions.
Chicago born artist, Ezra Siegel, comes from an artistic family. His father, Arthur
Siegel, was a photographer who also lead the photography department at the Institute
of Design, and developed the pioneering course “New Visions in Photography in which
he introduced creative methods of back-lighting and projecting light onto surfaces,
as well as an innovative use of color in both experimental and documentary photographs.”
Mother, Irene Siegel, a painter whose works are included in many museum and private
collections worldwide also lent a hand in giving Siegel his ‘art genes’, which brother,
Adam Siegel, long time resident artist at the Flat Iron Arts Building shares. Truly
an artistic family!
At an early age Ezra took an interest in architecture and graduated from Vassar College
in 1982, with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Art History and Architecture. Instead
of attending graduate school in architecture, he had the notion that in order to
be a "great" architect he needed to focus first on drawing. He moved to Florence,
Italy for a year to be inspired by and draw from the great masters in the Uffizi.
Over the years he has spent extensive time in Europe and Northern Africa and while
admiring the architectural feats over millennia, became intrigued with the organic
textures of centuries old buildings, walls and viaducts. Originally planning on
returning to Chicago to paint. he met and married concert violinist, Kathryn Shumaker
in 1993. The following 8 years found this artist and his wife in Lisbon, Portugal,
then Toronto Canada.
Finally saying “I’m ready” Ezra Siegel began to paint from inspirations received
from his family, his life and his memories.