Unavoidable Fate

American Art Collector|May 2020

Unavoidable Fate
In Paul Pitsker’s new watercolor show at George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles, the painter is thrilled in the concept that paintings are empathy detectors that are turned toward viewers.
PAUL PITSKER
“Paintings really are little personality tests that can measure how much empathy a person may have. In some ways that’s why I like how watercolors are shown under glass—the glass keeps the audience from intervening in the painting. All they can do is watch,” the painter says from his studio in Santa Monica, California. He illustrates this point with a new work, Glowing, which shows a deep-sea angler fish swimming in the glass dome of a candy vending machine. Outside the machine are fluttering butterflies. “It’s a collision of two different worlds that would never interface under normal circumstances. The piece asks viewers what they would do: Would you put a coin in and see what popped out, or would you put a piece of tape over the coin slot to protect the fish?”

These questions, and many others, are meant to intrigue and perplex viewers, which they are sure to do in Pitsker’s new show, It’s All Arranged, opening May 16 at George Billis Gallery.

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May 2020