Herb Rieth artwork
The mixed media materials that I work with have a strong significance for me and enter at various times into my history. Whether sewing and painting or my time in various bands, the materials reflect those disparate experiences.
My mother and grandmother both used sewing and I imitated them, though not with their level of skill. I often used sewing to repair and embellish various clothing articles I wore in public and on stage. Art has always been a part of our family and the painted parts of my work draw from this rich tradition. Often parts are lifted from old masterworks but sometimes from roadside and outsider artists that I consider just as vital.
I think of the work as painting as I am engaged in it, but the sewing aspect slows things down and takes the level of surface engagement to a whole other level. For every splash of paint there are many hours spent hunched over the sewing table.
Though the signifiers are drawn from my past, there are aspects that are available to everyone, including humor. Laughter is a very good response to parts of many of the works.