Chicago-born artist, Ezra Siegel, comes from an artistic family. His father, Arthur Siegel, a world-renowned photographer and his mother, Irene Siegel, is a multi-media artist. At an early age, Ezra took an interest in architecture. He attended Francis Parker High School in Chicago, and graduated from Vassar College, majoring in Art History and Architecture. To copy the great master drawings in the Uffizi, he moved to Italy. In 1993, he married violinist, Kathryn Shumaker. They lived in Portugal and Canada before returning to the Chicago area. These various influences have informed Ezra’s art.
As a self-trained artist, Ezra has spent many hours visiting museums and perusing art books. He has shown in New York, in one-man and in group exhibitions. He has also shown Internationally, both in group shows, such as Mae D’Agua, and in gallery representation. Ezra has won Best of show: Bayou City Art Festival Downtown 2015, Art and Big Fork 2014, Lubeznik 2013, Northbrook 2013, and has received recognition from numerous juries such as Illinois Arts Council and Art Loop Open. Ezra currently has Gallery representation in Michigan, Massachusetts, Florida, Oklahoma, Utah, and Minnesota.
He begins by preparing the surface with a homemade gesso (a mixture of paint and plaster). This mixture allows him to control the degree of smoothness and absorbency of the paint surface. The key to his technique is to follow up with multiple layers of washes and thin paint (sometimes up to 30 layers). This creates subtle and nuanced color and tone.
It’s not until the final stages of the painting when things begin to fall into balance, that the painting takes on form and expression. At first glance the work appears very minimalistic, but with time and close inspection, these pieces exhibit complexity with fluctuations and imperfections within the background, outlines and interior shapes.
Ezra has spent 30 years of exploring forms, shapes, and paint surfaces to create something that is both simple and complex. The more time spent with his paintings, the more potential they have to stimulate the emotions and intellect of the viewer.