Meet West Side Artist Bobbi Beck
On view from November 4 through December 27, 2013 at the St. Agnes Library of The New York Public Library is BOBBI BECK: A West Side Visual Diary. As a longtime Upper Westsider, she has had many exhibitions at various libraries throughout New York City. The drawings are autobiographical and reflect her day-to-day observations and feelings. Her artworks convey emotional and visual renderings of humor, love, gender conflicts, marriage, family, health, joy and sorrow, anguish and global issues.
What led to your interest in becoming an artist?
Early on I started using art to express my emotions as almost all children do. Except in my case I never grew up and moved out of that super creative kids’ art stage. I guess I have a Peter Pan/Picasso Syndrome.
What is your inspiration in your art?
I am inspired by the daily human experience. The positive and negative elements playing against each other. I love ornamentation, nature, interaction with others, visual storytelling, collecting, organizing, arranging of interesting and mysterious components on paper.
What other artist have influenced your work?
Every artist and culture through history has something in their work that has had an impact on me. I also have always been attracted to Medieval Art and the visual narrative it conveys.
Do you have a routine for when you are making your art?
Every free moment is my routine. Usually I have an emotion or event that triggers the beginning of a new piece. Then I build and layer additional thoughts and feelings onto that original concept. I do mind-collages constantly before I ever pick up a pencil.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
What is the best advice you have to give someone who is just starting out?
Use art as a tool to express your inner self. Make it part of your daily life. It can become your silent voice. I never thought anyone would be interested in my artwork because it was too personal and private. Then one day a good friend of mine Steve Meyers, who has worked with creative people over his career, mentioned that everyone has experiences that are the same as mine except that I have a way of illustrating them.
What’s your favorite piece of art that you have created?
Whatever I am working on today.
What are you working on at the moment?
A fish and a bird doing the Tango.
What else should we know about you and your work?
I was never an accomplished writer or speaker in school, so my art became my voice. My husband Ner who has seen my drawing process over my career and life describes me as a “creator of beauty.” The beauty to me is the opportunity to share my work with others.