Originally inspired to work with Plexiglass while on a quest to paint with the purity of color one finds on a computer screen, Beth Shapiro creates extraordinarily luminous paintings bridging the gap between the beautiful and the sensuous. One is always tempted to touch the surface of Beth’s work. Her paintings are created through poured layers of translucent and opaque glazes onto clear acrylic sheeting (Plexiglass). Her work is visually compelling— its transparencies revealing portions of the layers below; yet the luminosity and reflective character of the material not quite allowing the viewer to truly penetrate the surface.
Using a language similar to that of abstract expressionism and color field painting, but with media insistently of this age, Beth’s abstract works are compellingly contemporary. Signaling society’s emphasis on appearances and the intrusion of the man-made in opposition to the natural, Beth’s work speaks to the intrinsic human desire for the extraordinary object. We live in an age when plastic is ubiquitous. Our most desired items are minimalist in design, sleek and shiny combinations of metal and plastic. But though we try to evade the difficulties of the human experience through possession of these objects, it is a futile effort. Beth looks for instances in her work where exquisite beauty exists in combination with an underlying tension.
Beth Shapiro earned her B.F.A. in Painting at Texas State University-San Marcos in 2008. She had her first solo show in San Antonio in 2009 and has exhibited her work across Texas and on the East Coast. Beth grew up in New York and had a successful 15-year career in marketing communications before leaving the corporate world in the late 1990’s to raise her family. While her children were small, she began going to art school part time, eventually earning her degree. She currently resides in Austin, Texas.