Thursday, September 13, 2018

Leo Segedin is Still Painting!

*Click on the white arrow in the orange circle above to listen to this interview form your browser.

Leopold Segedin (Leo) is one of the most prolific painters living and working in Evanston. He is celebrating an incredibly busy fall with a new book “Leo Segedin: A Habit of Art", and two shows at Rare Nest Gallery and at the Madron Gallery in October. This is an incredibly busy schedule for a 91-year-old artist.

This interview focuses on Leo’s early career, all the way back to painting Chicago buildings on a porch as a 15 yo. Our conversation goes from Chicago to Maine to the Korean War, it's an amazing journey for one man, who practices as a painter his entire life. At 91, Leo tells the listeners that he is “still here”, with much gusto.

We are grateful to Leo’s son Paul for publishing such an important book of his father’s career and for setting up this interview.

 Leopold Segedin Retrospective
Saturday, September 15th, Opening Reception, 5 – 9 pm
With a career spanning more than 70 years, Leo Segedin is Rare Nest’s “senior artist” and indeed, is a beloved senior artist in the whole Chicago region.  Still painting every day at 91 years old, Leo is a prolific visionary and community-builder.  Many of his works from the last 20 years contain auto-biographical elements and self-portraits (“I’m a cheap model”) in dual poses juxtaposing youth and honest age.  The dream-like settings of Leo’s work evoke vernacular Chicago architecture - streetscapes and train stations of Chicago’s west side from the 1930’s to the present. In this major exhibition, enjoy over 40 works spanning 7 decades.
Rare Nest Gallery, 3433 N Kedvale, Chicago, IL 60641

Artist Statement
I’ve always felt that my own paintings should speak for themselves. Words can point to what you should look at and create a context for what you see, but I don’t think that anyone can really communicate in words what works of art communicate any more than they can create in words the taste of a good wine. The experiences of – say - a painted, translucent red - of delicate lines and bold shapes - of dramatic, metaphoric images - are like - well - the tang of garlic in a good, kosher hot dog - if we can imagine such experiences as being more serious - more profound - than pleasurable. They have to be ‘tasted’ to be known. It is not an intellectual process, although some art critics have made their careers trying to describe and explain it. The meaning – the significance - of a painting is in the work itself - in the personal responses to the aesthetic and metaphoric qualities of the image. This does not mean that paintings don’t embody meanings beyond such intrinsic qualities of the paintings. Although paintings can be about any personal experience, I believe that important paintings should be about something important - about life - the human condition - about the world we live in, or, in my case, the world we used to live in – even about art itself. There is something unique about artists who create with passion, who write - or paint - or compose works of art that express the intensely human experiences they share with others – of love and hate - of beauty and ugliness – of nature and society - of divinity and belief – of the imaginings of our mind - of memory - of loss - of mortality and death - all those corny, clich├ęd sentiments which just happened to be meaningful to us. And it may be that those visions are more true and real to us than the objective truths of science; at least, they touch us in ways that science never can. I would like to think that this is true about me.        


The Lisa D Show is a podcast celebrating and elevating creatives, featuring 20-minute, unedited conversations that mimic the live-radio vibe, purposefully low tech. Contact host Lisa Degliantoni at thelisadshow[at]

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