|Contemporary Art in Rome|
In almost every one of my paintings, the figure moves into the light; I returned to the figure over 30 years ago, after an extended period of mostly abstract imagery. Emerging from a time of great darkness in my painting, there appeared the human, very diffused and stretched across a visual gateway. She/he has been present in almost all my work since. I usually paint without preconceived images or preliminary sketches, so I followed what I perceived in the canvas, and it became the figure, pressing through the layers of color I use to build the painted surface.
At first, this smaller human moved through planes of space, earthbound geometries or clouds of light and dark. Then, in 1996, a large earth guardian appeared in a series exploring water imagery. This great being has remained my most dominant motif since. His/her presentation began in profile, but once I began living in New Mexico, the full face and features became more distinct. I believe she is one of the ancient ones, here to engage with our human spirit and to protect us as we live our lives on earth. Sometimes she is shadowed by a male counterpart, slowly coming into focus in the same domain.
The guardian figure walks with us, stepping through rivers and mountains, or circling through our atmosphere. She has become lighter, both in substance and intent, but remains concrete and tangible on the painted surface. She participates in strands of our DNA or entangles herself in our fields of energy and matter. I find her image only when I am painting, residing just outside the reach of our vision. My brush serves to make her visible, available in the depths of deep blue skies or the saturation of intense color. She is both muse and subject, a Great Being who is part of us. Betsie Miller-Kusz
Betsie Miller-Kusz was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico. She lived and painted in San Francisco for over thirty years, and has exhibited widely in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as New York, Santa Fe, and many areas of California. She now lives in New Mexico, where she owns a small ranch and studio, drawing continual inspiration from her surroundings in the beautiful Jemez Valley.
Her international exhibitions and projects have been held in Paris, London, Valencia, Madrid, Rome, Florence, Assisi, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Merida, Guadalajara, Guatemala, New Delhi, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Macau, Leningrad, Ulaan Baatar, and Seoul. She has painted numerous public murals in San Francisco and has collaborated with international artists in many projects, conferences, and cultural exchanges.
Her works have been part of four International Biennales, in Florence, the Yucatan, and Tuscany. Her solo exhibitions have included Dhoomi Mal, the oldest contemporary art gallery in India, the Museo Ixchel in Guatemala, the Galeria Tonalli in Mexico City, and the Marie de 6th Arrondissement in Paris, as well as the International Maritime Museum in London, the Pinoteca Museo in Tlaxcala, Mexico, and Anagma Gallery In Valencia, Spain.
Betsie painted the last mural in the former Soviet Union, for the 2nd Human rights Conference in Leningrad, working with two Russian artists. She then painted the first modern mural in Mongolia, working with a group of artists on a 5 story building. She collaborated with Clowns without Borders for a mural painted in the basurero (garbage dump) in Guatemala City, painting with children living in unbearable conditions. She has two murals painted on small cultural centers deep in the Delta de Parana* in Argentina, inaccessible except by small boats beyond the huge South American waterways. Her longest international collaboration has been with photographer Masaru Tanaka of Hiroshima, working together on the Peace’s New Century Project, a 15-year commitment combining their joined images for peace. This project has been exhibited widely, including the United Nations in New York and Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos, as well as the War Memorial building in San Francisco where the United Nations was founded.
Betsie taught painting classes in San Francisco for the California Arts Council, the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department and the New College of California. She served as Director of the Mural Resource Center for ten years, and then as Director of SomArts Gallery in the South of Market Cultural Center, where she curated over one hundred exhibitions.
Dreaming Earth’s Body is her literary collaboration with poet Carol Aronoff. Betsie has exhibitions for 2018 in New York, San Francisco and New Mexico as well as two large mural restorations just completed in 2017.
acrylic on canvas
81 x 81 cm
|ARTWORKS | figurative paintings | abstract and informal paintings | photos | digital art | sculpture|