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May 21, 2009

These are a few of her favorite things.

By FLYP Staff

In a new biweekly feature, FLYP asks creative people a simple question: what inspires you? The answer could be anything from a great exhibition to a powerful movie to fly fishing.

Elizabeth Neel grew up in Vermont, and now lives and works in New York City. The granddaughter of famed portrait painter Alice Neel, her own semi-abstract paintings deal with issues at the intersection of nature, death and decay. She has had numerous major exhibitions in galleries around the world, including the Deitch Gallery in New York and the Saatchi Gallery in London.

Siberian Mammoth

National Geographic television program, “Waking the Baby Mammoth,” on the discovery of Lyuba in Siberia
“In relation to my work, it’s a total supplement to the process of imagination.”

Late Picasso

Pablo Picasso show at the Gagosian Gallery
“It’s really rare to see a show that totally brings to the viewer in terms of sheer volume of work and energy of the work.”

White Whale

Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick: Or the Whale (1851)
“It’s a combination of being a pleasure and a task, and I feel like painting can be that way also.”

The Feature

Michel Auder and Andrew Neel’s film, The Feature (2009)
“The depth of references and associations, and the kind of elegance with which its executed is really, really brave.”

Penguins on Ice

The National Hockey League Playoffs
“It’s not like basketball or baseball, and it doesn’t have a long legacy of mythology.”

Francis Bacon Alive

Interviews with Francis Bacon by David Sylvester, in Interviews with Francis Bacon: The Brutality of Fact and on YouTube
“It’s heartening because you realize there is so much space for interpretation when someone says something about their creative practice.”

Life in the Undergrowth

David Attenborough’s television program, “Life in the Undergrowth” (2005)
“It manipulates the repulsive into something pretty exquisite.”

Isabella Stewart Gardner

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Mass.
“You can have the voyeuristic experience of being in a lived space and imagining what it would be like to live surrounded by these extraordinary things.”

Chunky Metals

Jewelry designer Jelena Behrend
“I don’t draw lines between fashion and art, and craft and art, or any of the traditional kinds of boundaries.”

Minimal Compact

Israeli band associated with the post-punk and indie rock movement of the 1980s
“I don’t like to speak of it as a source of direct inspiration for my work; it’s kind of like an aid and a fortification.”


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