Laguna Beach - After coming to terms with the death of her father, Candice Eisenfeld realized that for a majority of her life, she has lived detached geographically and personally from many of her close relatives. After reconnecting with a group of family members, Eisenfeld decided to dedicate her work to the same theme-she started using her unique emotional landscapes to represent images and feelings that relate to her family.
"These meaningful interchanges between members of my family highlighted other distant, dark areas of the family tree," says Eisenfeld. "Photographs were brought out and explained, memories exchanged, gossip ensued."
Eisenfeld sees this exhibition in much the same way as a person might see a group of mismatched family photographs, some color, some black and white, at the foot of the stairs in a private home. To her, each of these new paintings, contributes to make up a complete family portrait.
It is through these connections that Eisenfeld has come up with the term "landscape portraits" for this new exhibition.
"I am taking historical landscape painting style references and matching them with portraiture," says Eisenfeld. "A history of portraiture matched to the landscape painting styles. Their only connection is that when exhibited together they become a family- connected in a theme."
While Eisenfeld has become known for her signature dreamy, subdued landscapes that evoke strong emotional responses, she actually started as a painter working with the figure. Thus, this new exhibition is a coming together-stylistically and symbolically-of both the landscape and figurative genres.
"Figurative work allowed me to narrate my personal history to the viewer," says Eisenfeld. "Painting the landscape allows the viewer to narrate their own personal histories within the scene I provide. A painting may strongly suggest a story, but it is not necessarily my goal to express myself to the viewer, to express myself and still maintain a sense of privacy."
"People see what they want to see in my work." says Eisenfeld. "And whatever that may be is usually a reflection of themselves. When people look at the work, they have no other way of experiencing it other than delving into themselves for a frame of reference."
Eisenfeld's landscapes are based on parts of the country she visits during her travels, but they are also imagined.
"I travel all over the country chasing the fog and the rain," says Eisenfeld. "I fell in love with the rainforests of northern Georgia ..... I care more about mood and light than detail. I am not telling a straightforward story, rather providing a space in which the viewers are reminded of thier own stories."
In this way, the works are more personal and more unique to her own particular style and vision and also rely on her memories of the landscape. This connection to memory and its importance in the work links her traditional landcapes and these new ones. "Much of my work is about memory," says Eisenfeld. "Actually, it is forgetting and then recreating that which wants to be remembered. Revisiting one's family tree is not just about tracking the bloodline, but recording and stirring up whatever shared memories there are between family members."
BY JOSHUA ROSE
American Art Collector,