Three Works

Art / Doron Langberg


:: Three Works ::




From the artist


:: Account ::

My work is about closeness—to my sub­jects, paint­ed sur­faces, and the view­er. I make large-scale oil paint­ings of my friends, lovers, and fam­i­ly. My process starts with mak­ing por­traits from life as source mate­r­i­al. In these small paint­ings, I work impro­vi­sa­tion­al­ly and gen­er­ate ideas about col­or and mate­ri­al­i­ty that will be the struc­ture for my larg­er works. My rela­tion­ship with my sub­jects is the dri­ving force behind my work and what guides my for­mal and image deci­sions. This famil­iar­i­ty allows me to gauge whether the paint­ing I’m work­ing on embod­ies the sub­ject I’m depict­ing: it’s a mea­sure of my empa­thy and of the painting’s poten­tial to feel like a liv­ing per­son. The height­ened col­ors and vari­ety of tex­tures and marks are my way of exter­nal­iz­ing the sub­jects’ inte­ri­or­i­ty, giv­ing the view­er a sense of their human­i­ty, and through that, my own. This is a response to the dehu­man­iza­tion of queer­ness I see embed­ded in our legal sys­tem, in the media, and in every­day life. The his­to­ry of paint­ing also reflects such atti­tudes in the work of artists like Delacroix, Courbet, Ingres, Picas­so etc.; their desire is metaphor­i­cal of the most major themes in cul­ture like war, god, life, death and more, where­as rep­re­sen­ta­tions of queer desire are not afford­ed that same grav­i­ty, seen as only able to stand for what they depict. As a way out of this bind, I look at artists and writ­ers such as Alice Neel, James Bald­win, and David Hock­ney that come from mar­gin­al­ized points of view, but who were able to tran­scend this chal­lenge and speak to larg­er truths. Inspired by Hockney’s diary-like imagery, I sit­u­ate depic­tions of queer sex­u­al­i­ty and inti­ma­cy with­in a larg­er nar­ra­tive of every­day scenes, fram­ing queer­ness as a way of view­ing and being in the world rather than just a sub­ject mat­ter. In these chro­mat­ic envi­ron­ments, fueled by per­son­al con­nec­tion and a near abstract for­mal qual­i­ty, I want to make queer plea­sure, friend­ship, and inti­ma­cy feel expan­sive, and for my figures—and me by proxy—to have the free­dom to be ful­ly themselves. 



Doron Lang­berg (b.1985, Yokneam, Israel) lives and works in New York. He received his MFA from Yale Uni­ver­si­ty and holds a BFA from UPenn and a Cer­tifi­cate from PAFA (Penn­syl­va­nia Acad­e­my of the Fine Arts). Lang­berg has attend­ed the Sharpe Walen­tas Stu­dio Pro­gram, Yad­do artist res­i­den­cy, and the Queer Art Men­tor­ship Pro­gram and is cur­rent­ly at the EFA Stu­dio Pro­gram. His work was shown at the LSU muse­um, Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Arts and Let­ters, Leslei Lohman Muse­um, The PAFA Muse­um, Per­rotin Gallery, Yos­si Milo Gallery, DC Moore Gallery, 1969 Gallery, and sev­er­al uni­ver­si­ty art gal­leries. Langberg’s work was reviewed in Art in Amer­i­ca, Frieze Mag­a­zine, The Brook­lyn Rail, Hyper­al­ler­gic, Art­Crit­i­cal, and GAYLETTER, and it is in the col­lec­tion of the PAFA Museum.