Moral Compass: Artists Respond to Crises
Temple Judea Museum exhibition January – March 2021
My “LIFE IN THE TIME OF COVID” is a semi-realistic, symbolic representation in a kind of Grandma Moses style. My “circle of community” is an empty chair, potted plants, my much loved and loving indoor cat in the kitchen window, and my ever present cell phone which connects me to the outer world I left last March. I am also grateful for my good friends and neighbors, a garden I can escape to, and waking up healthy every day so far. Since I am not accustomed to mixing politics with my art work, my sadness for, and anger about, the many suffering much more throughout this, due to the evil political regime, has been expressed more through texting and sharing on the internet. I have also been focused on downsizing a hundred and ten-year-old home which I have lived in for 50 years. These chores and worldly concerns made it hard for me to paint abstractly in my usually joyful and spontaneous manner, rather than as in this very labored art work. When previous viewers said they saw an object in my paintings, I cringed. I usually try to remove all objective references. Even my figures are quite freely and imaginatively rendered. I hated having to stay in the lines and trying to render perspective space. In my 27 years of teaching art to children in Philadelphia and mostly learning from them, I never directed them to do that. My mind has been on the world and the tragedies surrounding us. This rather artistically naive painting is about my own coping with it. I am hoping for a better world and a return to a fuller creative life.
ROSALIND REICHSTEIN, January 2021