Eric Fischl, born in 1948, is an American painter, sculptor, and photographer who emerged amongst the second generation Abstract-Expressionists. He uniquely painted the suburbs, a theme that had previously been looked upon as mundane and uninteresting on canvas. Fischl twisted the everyday of suburbia, taking an insightful look at the hidden secrecy and mischief of middle class suburban life. He specifically focuses on the lives of adolescents, painting their exploration of sexuality- from masturbation, to young boys looking at older women, to their own nudity. Interestingly, Fischl is often compared to Degas, as John Russell wrote in the New York Times, "[Degas] sets up a charged situation with his incomparable subtlety of insight and characterization, and then he goes away and leaves us to figure it out as best we can. That is the tactic of Fischl, too, though the society with which he deals has an unstructured brutality and a violence never far from release that are very different from the nicely calibrated cruelties that Degas recorded." Fischl has also paid homage to Cézanne’s famous Bathers by doing his own series of bathers which are infused with his own sense of sexuality and voyeurism. Recently, he has explored the centuries-old tradition of the bull fight, which has seemed to always captivate artists from Goya to Picasso. However, whether painting bathers, bulls, or young boys, Fischl’s artwork transforms his audiences into voyeurs rather than idle viewers. Fischl’s work resides in the permanent collection of museums all over the country including, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art in new York, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.
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