Collage of Photos from School of Fine and Performing Arts

Press Releases

Acclaimed Artist Paul Pfeiffer Speaks at SUNY: Artist Acknowledges An "Odd Twin Obsession With Basketball And The Bible"

Bookmark and Share


NEW PALTZ -- On Wednesday, February 21, 2001, the Student Art Alliance at SUNY New Paltz proudly host a lecture and presentation by mixed-media artist Paul Pfeiffer. The lecture begins at 7:30 PM in Lecture Center 112 and is free and open to all.

Paul Pfeiffer's work explores the nature of fame and cultural consumerism, focusing on the engrossing, dehumanizing aspects of stardom. Through a variety of media, including photographs, sculpture, and (most famously) video loops, Pfeiffer exaggerates the personalities of celebrities in order to expose the absurdity and destructiveness of idolatry.

Katy Siegel, ARTFORUM, describes Pfeiffer's video loop, "Fragment of a Crucifixion (After Francis Bacon)," 1999: "continuous, silent repetition of one moment on the basketball court turns the presumably victorious yell of Knicks forward Larry Johnson into an almost inhuman scream of terror or rage." David Hunt, writer for Frieze, adds, "Pfeiffer?s Fragment?shatters the linear narrative of two 45 minute halves, using the loop to remove Johnson from his natural orbit and recast him as mere flesh and blood." Standing in contrast to the sensationalistic nature of sports super-stardom, Pfeiffer's work prods the viewer, forcing us to reject the spectacular.

Lauded participant in the Whitney Biennial 2000 and recipient of many awards and recognitions, Pfeiffer holds an MFA from Hunter College and has exhibited widely in galleries across the nation. In a recent interview with New York Times contributor Deborah Solomon, Pfeiffer admitted "an odd twin obsession with basketball and the Bible. His high-concept, high-anxiety videos are shrunk down to the size of snapshots, and they have a mesmerizing interiority, like visions glimpsed in the space behind one?s eyes." Jerry Saltz, writer for The Villiage VOICE calls Pfeiffer "one of those artists you can?t wait to see again," and Peter Schjeldahl of The New Yorker claims Pfeiffer?s Whitney exhibit "rivets the eye and the mind with almost punishing rapture."

The Student Art Alliance, a funded member of the Student Association of SUNY New Paltz, sponsors the Art Lecture Series. Visit the calendar of arts events at SUNY New Paltz via the web: For additional information, call 845-257-3872.

- 30 -

An image of Pfeiffer?s, "Fragment of a Crucifixion (After Francis Bacon)," 1999 is available at