Robert Bechtle | the artist
The artist Robert Bechtle
Born 1931, San Francisco, California, USA.
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In a recent series of self-portraits, Bechtle turns a somewhat uncanny eye towards himself, humbly depicting himself and his art through the vantage of his age. Set against the humdrum backdrop of a working-class town, these ruminations on the artists own maturity reveal his artistic practice to be his very life-line. The gaze of Bechtle as himself and as artist become one: The vacillations of light he observes on his own face are the same atmospheric changes he has witnessed in his daily surroundings throughout his career. Despite the shifts of age, and with them the makes and models of the cars, Bechtles view has remained the same, and he has continued to find those moments so embedded in American life that when he captures them in paint, he reveals the austerity and anxiety that runs below the shimmer of new cars and suburban streets…
Explore Robert Bechtle’s life and work through lively videos of the artist in his studio as well as photographs, letters, and newspaper clippings from his personal archive.
"My subject matter is my immediate world, objects that I know and care about…"
California painter, Robert Bechtle (born in 1932, San Francisco), was part of the photorealist movement on the the West Coast. Bechtle used paint as texture in his paintings, and one can barely detect brushwork in his photo-like renditions. He took inspiration from his local San Francisco surroundings, painting neighborhoods, friends, family, and street scenes, paying special attention to automobiles. His paintings reveal his perspective on how things look to him, the color and the light of a commonplace scene.