In 1972 Fischl received his B.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts. He?s known for his narrative paintings of haunting figures that immediately capture the viewer?s curiosity with their sexual overtones. The figures are usually nude or in a state of undress. Most of them appear to be struggling for their identities. The Impressionists painted outdoor leisure scenes of middle class people enjoying their time off from their jobs. Fischl, a Neo-Expressionist, paints outdoor leisure scenes of modern American culture using the suburban middle class as his backdrop. Unlike the Impressionists? subjects, the figures in Fischl?s narratives seem detached. There is often an erotic tone to the narrative, but it is usually not completely clear what is going on in the scene. This uncertainty makes the audience attempt to read the moment captured in the scene by drawing from their own experiences or memories in life. In this untitled work Fischl paints a scene of a male on a beach with a frisbee or beach ball. He seems captivated by a nude couple in the shadows. The couple seem oblivious to their male onlooker. The flabby male watches the couple in the shadows. The voyeuristic theme of this work makes viewers uncomfortable as they watch the psychodrama unfold. Fischl states that he starts off despising the people in his works and then he works toward compassion for them.
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