Diane Goodman (b. 1971, London) is a visual artist based in Philadelphia who works in painting, drawing and digital collage. Her paintings are layered and condensed landscapes of buildings, symbols, Babylonian era Jewish demons, and color blocks which can be read as pictorial narratives where strawberries are bigger than houses, cats breathe fire and writing runs through the fields. Her use is symbols is a way for her to explore the juxtaposition of living an assimilated life in America and the threads that tie her to thousands of years of Jewish history.
Winter in 2020 was the first time she picked up a paint brush since college, but years of design using photoshop had given her the fundamentals for picture-making. As a design professional, she leans into required minimalism. As a painter, after a lifetime of sidelining her inner eye, she is finally letting her maximalist heart explode all over the canvas.
Goodman works with acrylic and found historic images on wood and canvas. She has a background in both digital imagery and fabric sculpture, each coming out of an intuitive drawing practice. Her approach includes intensive pictorial research and an interest in icons, signs and symbols.
For the two years leading to picking up a brush, Goodman spent her evenings tracing her family’s history in America. Using a mix of census documents, passenger lists, city directories, and newspaper articles she was able to learn how an individual family fits into collective history. Raised an assimilated Jew on theWest Coast, she was one of the first American children raised in a lesbian household. In her researched she discovered that in 1932 Warsaw, the Yiddish Press published an article titled: “Arrests Made After Lesbian Night Club Discovered”. As a result, Diane (Elya to class mates) decided to learn Yiddish.
This mix of history and Yiddish is the heart of her paintings: superstition, pogroms, the holocaust, antisemitism, Jewish work and family life (bottlers and bootleggers) the Golden Medine, Klezmer, immigration and assimilation.
The evil eye, demons, palm fronds, dates, graves, trees, fire, movement, chairs, more chairs, bottles, bubbles, horns, fiddles, Yiddish and English cursive reproductions from archival documents –this is the language she uses in her work.
Goodman-Daniel has recently settled in Philadelphia after decades as a domestic nomad, growing up in California and making her home in London, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Santa Cruz, Westport, Vancouver, NYC, Washington DC, Ithaca, New Orleans and Baltimore. She has worked in big tech and academic research as well as developing projects in ceramics, color copy collage, photography and creating a line of hyper expressive neo-folk dolls.Her on-going focus on drawing and symbolic imagery follows through to her current work.
Vancouver Film School, New Media Certificate
UC Santa Cruz
Otis Parsons Ceramic Summer Program
Awards & Honors
Received $500 grant to create safe sex graphic design forthe Santa Cruz AIDS Project
Photo of doll used as front cover book arts project about mental health
2001 - 2005
Partnering with the Tompkins County Regional Art Council, created and led 3-evening art marketing workshops