Joseph Gallivan interviews Ellen Goldschmidt about her show Hot Lava: Family Pictures

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Tue, 12/12/2017 - 11:30am to 12:00pm
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Joseph Gallivan interviews Ellen Goldschmidt about her show Hot Lava: Family Pictures

On Tuesday December 12, 2017, Joseph Gallivan interviews Ellen Goldschmidt about her show Hot Lava: Family Pictures, which is on now at Blackfish Gallery through December 30, 2017.


Lifelong Portland resident Goldschmidt talks about how she turned rivalry and friendship with her sister into new imagery when she decided to rework childhood photos in acrylics, charcoal and collage.


Blackfish Gallery: 420 NW 9th Ave., Portland, OR 97209

503-224-2634 |

Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday | 11 am – 5 pm





What if childhood is the reality and adulthood

Is the fairytale? That is a question Ellen

Goldschmidt examines in her latest

psychologically acute paintings that explore

her formative years.

Revisiting 3 x 3” black and white family

snapshots from the late 50s and early 60s,

Goldschmidt teases out emotional truths

petrified on the surface, inventing color

palettes, altering the figures’ environments

and collaging photo references together to

create her images.

The artist’s focus is on the quality of

emotional connection between family

members and the hidden dysfunction that

festered below a veneer of psychological

health. Taken as a whole the work conveys

hot and cold, love and pain, absence and presence—the complex, often hidden emotional reality

of her childhood.

Goldschmidt describes Hot Lava: Family Pictures as “my attempt to create, in the language of

paint, a partial memoir of my emotional life.” Can painting function as memoir? Can an image

evoke as much or more than a written account of a life? These are additional questions

embedded in Goldschmidt’s exhibition.


“Emotional patterns established in childhood affect and often determine adult lives,”

Goldschmidt says. In re-picturing her past, the artist reveals her own emotional through lines

and acknowledges the insistent whispers of childhood that persist in us all.


Joseph Gallivan has been a reporter since 1990. He has covered music for the London Independent, Technology for the New York Post, and arts and culture for the Portland Tribune, where he is currently the Business Reporter. He is the author of two novels, "Oi, Ref!" and "England All Over" which are available on


This show was recorded at KBOO on Dec. 9, 2017 in Studio 1. It was edited by KBOO volunteer Sam Parrish.



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