I choose to paint within the traditional still life format. Within the context of art historical time perhaps up until the middle of the nineteenth century this particular genre was often the only artistic endeavor allowed for most women artists to pursue. I continue within this narrow range of artistic inquiry, however with the added twist of a touch of subversive energy and irony. All of my still life paintings depict what I call “The Tabletop-Narrative” in which a wide array of dolls, figurines and statues interact. I am of course attempting to paint the grand scale figure narrative which historically was often reserved for the hands of male painters only, on top of a table. Often my work employs a wide range of popular imagery from disparate sources within a post-modern medley of fun. The theme of male and female relationships prevails in much of my recent work.
—Bertha Steinhardt Gutman | 2012