About Barbara Issahary

Why I became a painter:

I began painting seriously in the early eighties when Abstract Painting had subsided and Conceptual Art dominated the scene.
Then I discovered the “School of London” painter, Lucian Freud and was totally blown away by his work. At the time, there were many art critics who claimed: “Painting is Dead”, they considered his work unorthodox and unfashionable, but that was to be the direction for me.

After fifteen years dedicated to painting the nude, the time came to show my work and in 1998, I had my fifteen minutes of fame when I sold a painting to the Musician and Art collector David Bowie.

Sleeping 1 oil on canvas 120×120 cm 1998 (David Bowie Collection)

Then something strange happened. One day I couldn’t do it anymore; the intimacy of the human body shrouded in dark interiors, the cool colors and silent shapes had lost their allure.  My inner artist had simply moved on.

Fast-forward, after years of soul searching:

Today, in addition to working from observation I diversify by including visual references in my work. These enable me to depict themes and motifs impossible to paint from observation.

Waterscapes, 2018
Waterscapes, 2018

On a good day, I begin each session with these references,then lay them aside and allow the pure physicality of paint to take over.

Wave,oil on paper 26x44cm 2019