Artist Pamela Pfrang

An example of fine art by Pamela Pfrang

Photo of Pamela Pfrang


     I am a Painter of Loneliness.  For many years I was a Cook County Public Defender, defending poor people accused of crime.  It sunk deep into me.  Chicago's hurts--my clients' suffering, perhaps inflicted on others, perhaps inflicted on--but certainly settled on, themselves--were my daily diet.  A P.D. is, by nature, a friend to the friendless. And while fighting to help my people, I still hurt for them.  From that, and, surely--just from life itself--I deeply sensed loneliness.
     My career was, I think, an extreme experience of everyone's life.  As Thomas Wolfe put it:  "Loneliness is and always has been the central and inevitable experience of every man."  Loneliness is at our human core.
     While a P.D., I began to oil paint, discovering a way to express powerful feelings.  I studied painting, eventually earning a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  While feeling some kinship to Edward Hopper's stark outlook, nonetheless in style I am an avid expressionist figurative painter.  I have a Fauve love of color.  And I most admire an impassioned panoply of painters--Lovis Corinth, Henri Manguin, Kathe Kollwitz, Henri Matisse, Alice Neel, Pierre Bonnard, Oskar Kokoschka.   
      I will paint just one person. Not any former client--just a person.  I render semi-surreal surroundings, emphasizing the strangeness of  our human life.  Idiosyncratic, intuitive, with vibrant fluttering color, my oil paintings reveal not just aloneness, not just solitude, but our basic human loneliness.
     Sad?  No, these paintings are cathartic.  For me.  But much more than that--for the viewer.
     Certainly my paintings may be touched with humor, even cheer.  As Woody Allen reminds us:  "Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering--and it's all over much too soon."  I surely agree.
     I am a Painter of Loneliness.  Whatever else [...]

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