Gene Beecher

Gene Beecher’s (1909-2002) enigmatic paintings begin with broad, intuitive gestures against color fields, and as he paints his "unseen friends" emerge. Their twisted bodies and distorted faces assault and disturb the viewer as they appear to be caught at an emotionally charged moment. Perhaps he is assuaging the deep-seated and gnawing half-memories of his having fallen down an outhouse hole one dark night as a youngster. Whatever their origin, Gene Beecher painted since 1982, when, for health reasons, at the age of 73, he moved from Ohio to Florida. He painted almost every day of his life thereafter, until one summer night; then the 93 year old artist was found bewildered, wandering the halls of his retirement home: he had spray painted himself with Day-Glo paint and had sprinkled himself with silver glitter.