Judith Eisler

By
Photography Emily McDermott

Published November 25, 2008

Men, motorcycles, and rock ‘n’ roll—Judith Eisler’s latest large-scale oil paintings work the iconography of the mythic male outlaw. The New York artist has always used movies for her sources, pressing the pause button, shooting the image with her camera, and then painting from the resultant photograph. The male series, which will show at Manhattan’s Cohan and Leslie gallery in October, came to fruition when a number of Marianne Faithfull paintings from the 1968 film The Girl on a Motorcycle left her Brooklyn studio for a show in Berlin. Eisler suddenly found herself left with a bunch of paintings devoted to men, including two paintings of Alain Delon on his bike from Motorcycle and four smoky blue works devoted to New York Dolls’ guitarist Johnny Thunders. “For Johnny, I actually shot the scene off of YouTube using a digital camera,” Eisler explains. They’re from the black-and-white video for ‘Trash’ but they came out blue.” Each canvas is, in many ways, a fight between abstraction and representation. Or, for die-hard punk fans, one second you’re seduced by Johnny drinking from a bottle, and in the next, he’s lost to a sea of blue. -CHRISTOPHER BOLLEN

Judith Eisler

By

Published November 25, 2008

Men, motorcycles, and rock ‘n’ roll—Judith Eisler’s latest large-scale oil paintings work the iconography of the mythic male outlaw. The New York artist has always used movies for her sources, pressing the pause button, shooting the image with her camera, and then painting from the resultant photograph. The male series, which will show at Manhattan’s Cohan and Leslie gallery in October, came to fruition when a number of Marianne Faithfull paintings from the 1968 film The Girl on a Motorcycle left her Brooklyn studio for a show in Berlin. Eisler suddenly found herself left with a bunch of paintings devoted to men, including two paintings of Alain Delon on his bike from Motorcycle and four smoky blue works devoted to New York Dolls’ guitarist Johnny Thunders. “For Johnny, I actually shot the scene off of YouTube using a digital camera,” Eisler explains. They’re from the black-and-white video for ‘Trash’ but they came out blue.” Each canvas is, in many ways, a fight between abstraction and representation. Or, for die-hard punk fans, one second you’re seduced by Johnny drinking from a bottle, and in the next, he’s lost to a sea of blue. -CHRISTOPHER BOLLEN