Judy Rifka: Interview

Judy Rifka, Arboretum, 2014, acrylic on two canvasses, 63 x 132 inches (courtesy
Judy Rifka, Arboretum, 2014, acrylic on two canvasses, 63 x 132 inches (courtesy of the artist)

Jennifer Samet interviews painter Judy Rifka about her work and career.

Rifka comments: "In dance, you are in a place, then you think about where you want to go, and then you go there. You make a body out of your intentions of where you want to go, and that is a physical connection. In painting, you put one thing down, then you think about where you want to put another thing, and so on. After that, it looks like some kind of space is built up. Hans Hofmann talked about this. However, there is no actual space in painting: that space always becomes an emotional connection. Making a physical connection of your intention is the same as growth, the same as how any form works, how a pseudopod works, how evolution works. You decide where you want to go, you go there, and then you build a body to go there. This becomes the form. So the space disappears, and a form, or a body, comes out of it.... Socrates said, 'I listen to my oracles.' That idea — that we have a voice inside our head telling us what to do — you listen to that. In painting, I listen to it."