Laura Shechter, Painter of Graffiti

“I particularly feel graffiti beautifies blighted areas, and gives them style and dignity.” ~ Laura Schecter

Brooklyn born contemporary realist painter Laura Schecter takes cityscapes and graffiti into consideration as a formalist and you may even say with an element of romanticism. With abstract painter and “father of minimalism” Ad Rhinehardt as a teacher at Brooklyn College in the 1960s, Schecter says she evolved a philosophy of aesthetics.

In these paintings of building facades that are covered with graffiti in an urban environment, Schecter gives realist attention to the detail so accurate that at first glance most viewers will believe they are looking at the work of a graffiti or Street Art photographer who jumps fences, climbs rooftops, and follows train tracks to capture a shot. In fact, she can be equally enthusiastic about her regard for some of her finds. “I particularly feel graffiti beautifies blighted areas, and gives them style and dignity,” she says.

Laura Shechter “D’Art” (photo © Laura Shechter)

“Within contemporary realism, I consider myself a “perceptualist”, which I define as being more concerned with usual vision,” explains Schecter as she describes these paintings and her approach to the aerosol tattooed surfaces of the city. As most painters will tell you, it is about capturing the right moment when the sun and the ambient influences in the environment reveal character or a certain spirit.

“My cityscape paintings, which are photo-based, describe one moment of light. I have always been interested in decorative patterns and high key color.  So doing cityscapes with graffiti was a natural direction for my work to take. I render each graffiti artists’ work with the same care as I would a piece of satin or a handed painted 19th century porcelain piece.”

Laura Shechter “New Utretch Station” (photo © Laura Shechter)

Schecter says her work evolved during the feminist art movement and she incorporated some of its ideas, but is also influenced by northern Renaissance art, Indian Miniatures, and interacting with other contemporary realists.  “I traveled around the world in the late 1960s and 70s and the experience added complexity to my art work which seems so rooted in western painting tradition, but also includes the aesthetics of the east, notably, India.”

Laura Shechter “View from the 7 train” (photo © Laura Shechter)

Laura Shechter “5Pointz” (photo © Laura Shechter)

Laura Shechter “The Green Dumpster” (photo © Laura Shechter)

Laura Shechter “View from 9th Street” (photo © Laura Shechter)

Laura Shechter “Noel in Bushwick” (photo © Laura Shechter)

Laura Shechter “After the Rain” (photo © Laura Shechter)

Click here to see more of Ms. Shechter’s artwork.