Abraham Elterman's paintings are bold and somewhat confrontational abstract
images that take their cue from the glossy and glitzy billboard advertising
images that we see everyday: oversized shapes, shimmering surfaces and
sensuous forms are some of the features my images share with their
It is perhaps this association with the imagery
of popular culture where his work begins to explore the struggle between
the darkest forces within oneself; what you are versus everything that your
environment says you should be and what you wish to be yourself. While the
titles are not to be taken as literal descriptions of the images, they
speak of the painting's core issues and create, as a group, a highly
emotive mood. One piece that looks like a huge gaping mouth is entitled
The Devastating Ravages of Jealousy. Another in a similar vein is named
The Seduction of Impossible Wishes.
Elterman has stated that his images are not necessarily pretty and they are
not supposed to be. It is his wish that even in their difficulty, a
certain beauty can be found in an attempt to reconcile one's aspiration to
live up to what the world tells us about youth and appearance versus
honoring the part of ourselves that is not particularly all that beautiful.
Abraham Elterman is based in San Francisco. He holds a PhD in Biophysics
from UC Berkeley, and began painting 15 years ago around the age of 35.
Since then, he has shown in galleries on both coasts as well as in Mexico
The Devastating Ravages of Jealousy,
oil on canvas,
60 x 72,