judith maxfield

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First Friday Artist Image

Raised in Los Angeles, and painting in oil since childhood, I graduated from UCLA with a B.A School of Fine Arts.  In that urban setting, economic hardship, racial issues, polio and personal identity - all of it -  was the cultural mix that formed my experience.  My fear of art making took me sidestepping, first into marriage, family, and finally divorce.  The 1889 Loma Prieta Earthquake was for me a metaphorical earthquake of my very own.  Turning back to art - still afraid - became my liferaft.  Art became my venue and language for testing out the "big" questions of life; the most important ones.  Today, my work reflects my worldview - of social, political forces - and the inner questioning of "why?"

I must be one of those artists who wear black, love France, and willing to deal with the tough questions of life and death.  Being in Berlin as the wall came down, Croatia before and since the Balkan wars of the 1990's, and Belfast during the July marchings have taught me to live with paradox, because sometimes there is no one clear answer. And we kill because of it.  My work, primarily in oil and mixed media is the culmination of a full experience of life - the beginnings and the endings, and not holding back. Material becomes iconic, pointing to the process and mystery of it all.  Markmaking may be cryptic or clear through oil, ash, metal, paper - all elluding to a ceremonial surface and pointing to that experience beyond the apparent physicality of what we perceive.                               

Since 1989 I have been in group and solo exhibitions, curated several successful exhibitions, and arranged several educational art forums for the Santa Cruz community. My work tends to be mostly in established collections in Los Angeles, Seattle, Hawaii, and the County of Santa Cruz.  A more complete bio is available  upon request.

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