Hazel Wechsler

Artist Statement

I paint to enter emotion more fully. In talking with my sister about an abusive relationship, I noticed how spatially we were putting everything- bigness and smallness, constriction and inflation. This made me interested in the ways we can conceptualize emotional space and change more clearly using the idea of physical space. So I turn my emotional experiences into physical scenes, ones you could imagine stepping into. What would it look like if power appeared as physical stitches of thread or if controlling behavior was made into ceremony? I like to make worlds that borrow from our own but melt and stretch it, changing the plane enough so I can look at what happened freshly.

In creating these pieces, I start with a basic idea of what I want to translate for the viewer but I will often do the background four times, making it darker or lighter, or changing other elements. I’ll decide as I go how much to fill in figures or add jolts of color to them to express how much power they hold. 

I paint until things make sense to me.

I am interested in the way art, and in particular surrealism, can move us further into the truth of confusing feelings or dynamics and help explain them to ourselves and others in new ways.


Born and raised in Boonsboro, MD, Hazel Wechsler earned her Bachelor of Arts in Painting with a minor in Creative Writing at Guilford College, NC. She works in a variety of mediums, from large scale oil painting to tiny, precise drawings. Art has always felt to her like the way out, and the way in.