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Eileen Moderbacher  Berkeley, CA

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Eileen

Though I paint landscapes, I am not a landscape painter. I use the outdoors mainly as a setting for urban and social issues. In this body of work, I have been preoccupied with placing images of industrial or domestic trash in the scenes to create a raucous disharmony with the surroundings. I choose provocative images that trigger an association in my mind or that, combined with other ones, form the basis for my narratives. They seem to exist in a dream state, neither present nor past, neither truth nor fiction. The groups of people who have found their way into these scenes are perhaps bystanders to whatever event they are witnessing.

Since these narratives in reality have never actually occurred, they open up for me the possibility of painting them in a mixture of styles and techniques ‘ line drawings or cartoons intermixed with realistically rendered objects, tightly rendered areas interspersed with smooth gradations of color. Often my work is a constant jarring pairing of visual contrasts ‘ sharp and soft focus, three-dimensional areas and flat areas, textures surrounded by smoothness.

The juxtaposition of the content in these paintings can often be unsettling, as can the formal elements. In this way I hope I challenge myself and viewers to reconsider what aspects of life are real: the threats, the struggle, the private moments.

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7 reactions displayed

"Reading the narrative "explanation" of your work, I found the "explanations" as fascinating and ultimately just as mysterious as the work itself. (Word person that I am.) But can words ever really solve the riddle of of a painting? If your paintings depict scenes that are neither real nor dream, is that place the realm of pure imagination? And what does that say about the power of imagination to make us feel more alive and more free, to offer a counterpoint to the ho-hum of our daily humdrum, the slow stagnation and routine of which is really a living death? We just gotta use the tools that inspire us, so YEAH for ART!"

"Pre industrial revolution is before the 19th century. Eileen you work very well and keep up the good work."

"Very interesting work. The top painting makes me think it's a murder scene or plane crash and the ghosts of the victims, bottom left, have returned. Many other paintings and drawings at her site show a progression of style changes. I like her painting style and technique."

"reminds me of the depresion/holucast :'("

"when I see this top painting, I see ghosts of the past, looking on shocked at the state of the world they work so hard for.They look scared to me, she is holding him back, but he looks alarmed! that tells me he feels an urgency to act. but there is a group of disinterested humans standing there in work clothes. this tells me, she is wary of the threat of humans that would stand around while such a tragedy happens.look @ her hair, it is a style from early America, it is PRE Industrial revolution. I see this painting as being IN spired which means it comes from truth, and the artist is tool of the spirit of truth that moves him, because it is truth, the Honor goes to the creator of truth, this artist is a conveyor of truth truth his natural gifts endowed to him by his creator, beautiful example of Inspiration combined with conscious action, I applaud your social consciousness, and your talentPeace, and enjoy fully discovering your own work, thats your GOD working through you."

"Could have been the cover of Harpers Magazine in the 20's. A war scene, a rocket ship crash site? A group of medical personal circa 1920. And everything is just beyound easy grasp, beyound easy understanding. The lower image, cat women bound, distorted with Greta Garbo look alike looking away from the carnage and flames. The artist has nailed his objective, disharmony and chaos of the social order."

"This is an interesting idea for creating."

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