Artist Spotlight: Bonnie Goldberg

“My figure work is the embodiment of who I am as an artist. I connect to the lines and shapes of the pose, the gesture of the model, and find the essence of the person who is posing. As I work and find the gesture, I try to keep the details to a minimum. I believe it is important to engage the viewer in a work of art and I see it as collaboration between the model, the artist, and the viewer. We, as artists and as lovers of art, understand that art is what teaches us what is important in life and defines those moments that we all have when beauty becomes reality.” 

Our upcoming exhibition, “Form, Figure, Gesture” opens next Thursday, May 30th, and we couldn’t be more excited! Bonnie is one of the featured artists on this show, alongside: Lisa Moore, Gail Ragains, and Daniela Schweitzer.

Bonnie is originally from, and is based out of Columbia, South Carolina where she paints her abstract, figurative works on both paper and canvas. Her expressive quality of line and use of elective mediums, makes her work most captivating as the layers create an immersed composition. Beyond her work, Bonnie made us feel empowered and beautiful with her honest answers in this feature. Read on to read them for yourself!

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?

   “I started my art career about 30 years ago.  I always  knew that I could do this… I just had to find a push to get started. As my children got older, I found myself wanting to fill what I anticipated as “empty nest time”  and took some drawing classes… I realized that I was good at it and then I took off as a full time artist! Loving every minute!!”

Describe your aesthetic in three words:    “line creating essence”

“Rich Tapestry” 12 x 9. Charcoal, Conte, and Acrylic on Black Paper. Available at ANFA Gallery!

Describe your artistic process and preparation—How do you start your creative process?  

“I begin with a live model or photograph that I shoot using a live model.  I begin to draw the lines that find the essence of the person that I am drawing… the spirit and the feel of the pose… then I add color. After that it is a process of push and pull… adding color and line… erasing… adding…finding the layers that create the final product. “

“And When I Wake…” 17 x 11. Ink and Red Wine on Paper. Available at ANFA Gallery!

Why portray the figure? What does it mean to you to depict the human form?   

“I am drawn to the human form… particularly women… the beauty of women both inside and out… how we move in space… how we establish a mood. A persona of strength and beauty… all ages, types, colors, sizes… we are all beautiful in our own way.”

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date—why? 

“I once painted an 86 year old woman who asked me to let her pose nude for me… she just wanted the experience of doing it. I think it was very empowering for both of us.”

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?  

 “I am inspired by the drawings of Schiele, Modigliani, Matisse, and Picasso.    Such wonderful draftsmen. I could study and look at their work forever. ”  

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?   

“For women, the  challenge is to be accepted on an equal level with male artists… for so long, galleries and museums have favored male artists. This is changing. We are showing the world who we are and what we can do… we are taking our place as equals in the art world.”

How do you approach/overcome them?   

“You overcome challenges with hard work…you put your best self out there… the rest will happen.”

Biggest accomplishment to date (personally and/or professionally)?   

“Professionally,  I think my biggest accomplishment to date was my solo show at Newberry College.  I created 29 pieces in the course of two years. Personally, I would say my beautiful family… husband and two children and two grandchildren. I consider myself very fortunate in so many ways.”

Bonnie Goldberg pictured above at exhibition opening of “Fall for the female form” installed at Newberry College.
Full article here!

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like? Top 3 studio must-haves?   

“I paint in my studio in an old historic building in downtown Columbia, S. C.    The Arcade.  Studio 221 upstairs.  It has a balcony and a skylight.    It’s full of canvasses and paint and brushes and books… very little  room to move, but filled with the love of art. The must haves are the beautiful light, atmosphere, and people who come to visit and share my art…the conversations are  inspirational.”

A historical photo of The Arcade Building, located in Columbia, SC. 1970

A random fact about you:   

“I have very eclectic tastes… I love the symphony and I love football. it is all fun!”

Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?  

“Italy. The South of  France.  Gorgeous!”

The South of France pictured above.

Favorite color/medium to work with?    

“Red. Acrylic”

What are you currently reading?    

“Swing Time  by Zadie Smith”

What are you currently listening to? 

“Blues,  jazz,  rock and roll.”

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?   

“Living  life wherever it takes  me.”

One thing you couldn’t live without?   

“My family.”

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?  

“I would like to be a rock and roll star for a day…performing my music in front of 20,000 fans who know the words to every song I wrote…”

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?   

“Schiele. “

“Crouching Nude, Back View” 1917 by Egon Schiele.

Dream commission?   

“Commissions  are so difficult…..meeting expectations….it changes how you think while you are working.”

What do you want your audience to know about your work?  

“My love of art and my love of women…”

What do you think, makes your work unique?   

“My style.”

What is/was a pinnacle moment in your art career? 

“A  six page magazine article years ago in an arts magazine established my career and introduced me to so many people….you  have to share your work in order to fully realize who you are as an artist.”

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years:   

“I would like to take my work and style and push it through as many doors and evolutions as I can. I want to see where I can take it artistically.”

Bonnie Goldberg is 1 of 4 of our artists to be featured in our upcoming exhibition, “Form, Figure, Gesture” opening May 30th, 2019 at 6pm. Event details can be found here!

We hope to see you there!

—Written by, Sophie Lane at ANFA Gallery