Education plus hard work equals success. As college students, this is the equation we live by. True as it may seem, it would bring a sense of relief from the escalating tuition bills and overwhelming amount of studying to see some tangible evidence, to answer that underlying question: Will I reach success through my decision to attend Temple?
Lisa Yuskavage, who graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, has done just that. Her success as an artist provides evidence that education in combination with hard work can assist students in living out their dreams.
“I always knew that I had something to express and I wanted to express it through the fine arts,” Yuskavage said.
With this in mind, Yuskavage enrolled in Tyler to pursue her means of expression: painting. She said her attendance helped her achieve high stature as an artist and is grateful for it.
“I am thankful to the gifted faculty who are so generous and loving. I felt really loved there,” Yuskavage said. “That may have been my delusions, but it gave me a tremendous grounding.”
Yuskavage, featured as a “bad-girl painter” by The New York Times, in an article dated Jan. 12, 2001, has found success through her nationally praised artistic ability from both artist and critic alike. Her unique style of depicting “anatomically impossible bimbos, nymphets and other female travesties,” as noted by Village Voice art critic Peter Schjeldahl in an article dated Sept. 29, 1998, has won her acclaim in Art in America and Artforum.
As far as being called a “bad-girl painter,” Yuskavage responded, “I try to ignore it mostly. It would be spoiled to complain about things like this. I am bad … but in a much more interesting way.”
Her portraitures include mostly young women, all of whom seem to be curious, yet confident, with their strangely disproportionate bodies. Many women, depicted by Yuskavage, no matter how thin, do not lack in the area of breast development. The few illustrated older women appear to be somewhat tired but still thriving in confidence.
Yuskavage has shown her art in many galleries and museums across the nation and other countries. One portrait, featured in her solo exhibition from Jan. 6 through Feb. 3, 2001, at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Manhattan, N.Y., focused on one young woman who lifted a corner of her shirt to expose one breast at which she gazed inquisitively.
While some critics often feel promiscuity is intended, Yuskavage’s paintings are an expression and may yield several different meanings to all that view them.
For those who wish for a success-filled future, Yuskavage gave some advice: “No matter what they say, this is not the best time of your life as you might suspect. It will get better, but only if you do your homework.”
Lisa Naradzay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org