Hershberg remarks: "There is a quality, an essential concrete experience that I wish very much to transmit, but in its various formational stages, I take whatever liberties are necessary for the painting. My finished pictures are not a document of the thing observed -- I'd like them to be a new nature, a registration, if you will, of experience as opposed to record. They must be, first and foremost, paintings. When I am painting a landscape, it's not the nature which captivates me. When looking at a landscape I consider it just as I would any other motif; it's seen through an imposed particularized lens, an accumulated corpus of painterly pictorial desires I have amassed, like the amassing of barnacles on an old ship's hull, it becomes an archetype and one with its own eco-system."
Larry Groff interviews painter Israel Hershberg. The interview detailing Hershberg's history and experience as a painter is richly illustrated with a number of his still life and landscape paintings. Theis fascinating, extensive interview, transcribed from Skype, touches on a variety of issues.
Hershberg: "It all boiled down to exploration and pictorial curiosity for me — based on the notion that painting is in any case in its essence an abstraction. But no question, I am hopelessly seduced by the idea of jamming or processing what I perceive in the concrete world through that mechanism. I have no interest in the ‘narrative of narratives’ per se or in creating any kind of document. The conviction that painting is the expression of the experience of painting is more potent and urgent then ever."
Hershberg: "We live in a very diminished world visually. We’re being conditioned by all sorts of images: photographs, computer generated images you know, media. When reared on this, there’s little question: by the time a youngster makes it to the museum, if ever, and sets his eyes on Velazquez’s Las Meninas – I mean his eyes – it is highly doubtful he or she will have the necessary brain cells to see abundantly what that astounding work can hold out beyond the shallowness that the pixel dimensions their computer screen, mind you, a substantial improvement over offset reproduction, currently has."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.