Candice Eisenfeld Fine Arts
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Painter Has Artworld Buzzing



Candice Eisenfeld had only one painting hanging in a show at Scottsdale's Vanier Galleries. Up and down Main Street, other gallery owners talked about it. They found excuses to drop in at their competitors and study it. You think that happens a lot?

In their defense, Red Fields wasn't to be ignored. Bands of scarlet vegetation slashed across a brooding landscape. In the distance, a storm raged.

Some saw it as a metaphor for a raped and bleeding Nature. Others heard echoes of the Holocaust.

To Vanier's art consultant, Robert Rollason, it was all of those, and many things besides.

"What you first see in Candice's work is only the beginning of what's there," he said. "Anyone who's seriously interested in contemporary art should keep an eye on her."

She is 27, but her paintings, which fill every nook and cranny of the tiny home, seem ancient. In most of them, pathways lead through dark, foggy landscapes to a distant point of light.

Q: Your mother was an artist who didn't pursue a professional career.
A: We lived in Arlington, Texas. Arlington in the 1970s didn't do much for the creative spirit. On the other hand, I grew up knowing I didn't have a choice.

Q: You're 27, but you look 10 years younger. Have you ever run into collectors who pass because of your youth?
A: What can I say? I'm classically trained. I know how to paint a painting. I only hope people will look at the work and not me.

Q: You studied art and Jewish history in Jerusalem. How does being a Jew impact your work?
A: If it affects the art, it is more subconscious than deliberate. The work isn't about a specific religion, it is about life and spirit in general. But every painting is encoded: They are the stories of my life - and some people find specific Jewish references. The Arizona Republic, in reviewing Red Fields, said that it had the same impact as the little girl in the red coat in Schindler's List. I wasn't making a statement about the Holocaust when I created the piece..

Q: Where do you stand in the fuss over the Sensation! exhibition at the Brooklyn Art Museum? The one with the Madonna with elephant dung?
A: Unlike a lot of artists, I don't support every piece of art that comes out, especially art that has a harmful, negative effect on society. Artists have a right to speak out, and to do art that's meaningful to them, but I think you have to ask yourself, "Is this hurting anybody?" Figuring out where you cross that line - that's the difficult part, isn't it?

Q: What do you want people to see in your art?
A: I hope they see a searching, a quest. There are mysteries involved and things to overcome, but, in the distance, there's a light. There's hope.

The Arizona Republic
Jan 07 2000


Reach Kyle Lawson at or (602) 444-8947. Copyright 1999, Arizona Central. All rights reserved. Home of The Arizona Republic.