Elizabeth King

Region: Northeast

City / State: Cambridge, MA

The paintings I make are shy. They know they need to be polite and start the conversation by sharing a familiarity generated by their carefully depicted atmosphere. Once engaged, however, the inhabitants of these painted worlds are not quick to reveal much more about what they are doing or why they are being documented. This leads to an interesting dilemma for a bashful painting. The first impression of their colorful personalities is so relatable and enticing that usually they are asked to share more about the ambiguous story they are telling.

As the only outside insider to these worlds, I am aware of just how much these narratives have to offer. I use a considerable amount of restraint not to share everything I know. Being told everything is far less interesting or informative than experiencing it for oneself. The balance between what is disclosed and what is hidden gives my paintings the ability and courage to tell their stories when they are seen without me.