Today we’d like to introduce you to Liza Bingham.
Liza, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m originally from the NY area, but now am in Cambridge, where I’ve lived for many years. In 2005, after several years of teaching K-9 art, I went back to school for an MFA in painting. Towards the end of grad school, I began renting a studio at the Waltham Mills complex. What my space there lacks in size is made up for by a great, ever-changing view of the Charles River.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Approaching a new painting, I am most interested in paying close attention to the application of paint itself and reacting to what happens within that action. in this way, the work tends to be somewhat performative. Each painting is generally a response to the previous one. I use handmade templates as a way of initiating imagery. They are a way to “bake- in” a bit of personal history that sets an emotional tenor to work that’s otherwise fairly abstract and process- based. Lately I’ve been working with templates based on shadows observed while sitting at a lecture. Somehow the track lighting above was creating wonderful, loopy shadows of people’s crossed legs in an aisle nearby. Past templates have been very simple, such as of my initials in bubble letter form, a reference to my adolescent doodling tendencies.
I’ve found that approach allows me to focus on the paint itself–varying viscosities, and certain qualities of surface. I like to experiment, for instance, to see if certain material qualities, such as opacity or transparency of paint can alter, for instance, the emotional resonance of a piece. I like for the work to elicit a visceral/ gut impact, or maybe a laugh.
What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
I’ve been lucky to show a two artist run spaces in the Boston area, How’s Howard? and Room 83 Spring. I believe these sorts of spaces are the largely- unsung vital force of the Boston art scene. They are dotted throughout the area–in South Boston, Dorchester, Watertown, Somerville, JP, to name a few places. The First Friday model used for years by South end commercial and cooperative galleries is a fantastic way to draw a crowd by having unified opening receptions on an easy to remember date. As much as is geographically possible, it’d be great could if some version of this unifying idea could be adapted by these spaces, to build momentum and awareness for the spaces as a whole.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
In September I’ll be part of a show curated by the artist Monique Johannet at Room 83 Spring in Watertown, MA.
I also tend to use Instagram as a studio diary.
Photos of paintings: Myk Ostrowski
Photo of artist in studio: Susan Siefer