Studio Visit: Noah Becker

Noah Becker graciously allowed Beautiful/Decay into his Canadian studio to view his new body of work.   Becker is about to open a second studio in New York this September for the fall 2012-13 art season.  This is a correspondence studio visit, Beautiful/Decay requested the photos and they were provided by another photographer.  Although the paintings are clearly portraits, Noah describes his newest work as figurative instead of portraiture.   I recognize a few of the faces but generally the paintings aren’t obviously people we should know, and because they aren’t it follows that they can’t be portraits in the traditional meaning of a portrait of a specific person.  Noah presents us with a romantic vision of elegant people, people who are good at living!  Wish I was one of those, ha.  Some of the folks feel like 70s’ rock stars or maybe authors from the 30s’, and I think I recognize some of Velasquez’s Spanish Renaissance princes.  When asked Becker mentions “stillness and time frozen in a moment,” which is a way to talk about the strange nowness of consciousness, or possibly he’s saying the point of modern life is to be elegant in the absence of direction.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might as well do nothing with style.

Noah Becker’s Cavernous Inner Life

Caves evoke primordial feelings.  In our globalized culture they seem to suggest looking for a home in a world full of anonymous locations.  Secret and safe places, caves also point towards introspection – an unknown location where you can think your deepest, most private thoughts.  Noah Becker uses caverns in his recent work to set the stage for both the social and private.  In some paintings people to play and socialize and in others people are withdrawn into thought.

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6 Degrees of Separation


Noah Becker has curated a sweet show of Canadian artists, Six Degrees of Separation, at Claire Oliver.  It’s nice to see what’s happening in the Canadian metropolises of Vancouver and Toronto, and the bulk of the artists are from these two cities.  The show covers a wide range of approaches, from the pop-optical abstractions of Ben Van Netten to Becker’s own highly detailed ink drawings.  Becker’s drawings make a nice metaphor for the artists he selected for the show; he’s making connections and building relationships that go beyond superficial resemblances.  Six Degrees will be up until November 13th.