My art, soft painting, was invented in order to avoid filling rectangular spaces. The canvas was not an inspiration but a blank. In the late 1960s, I made some large (including life-sized group portraits) woodcuts that printed as shapes, not as filled space. I also began to make hooked rugs and realized I could form shapes with the medium. By the early 1970s, I used this traditional form to replace drawing and painting. Sports figures were an attraction because of their interesting poses and colors—certainly more interesting than normal dressed or undressed human figures and furniture. Catchers were combined, as a collage, with figure or shape from other art images—like Duchamp's Chocolate Grinder
[ No. 2
], 1914, that fascinated me as a child. Later I became interested in working with political-social issues ranging from art world politics and power to international politics, including the issues of torture, oppression of women, etc. With each art work I began extensive research and created a working photographic collage using images called from periodicals and books. The final soft painting works included a mixture of large images (life-size or overfigures) from the world we all live in.
Finally I need to say that I owe much to my mother, Barbara Kuter who took me to museums, and is, herself, an artist.
Statement courtesy of Leslie Kuter