Sidney Goodman was an American figurative painter known for his exploration of the human form. His works merge physical and spiritual realms of human experience through the interplay of light and darkness. In particular, Sightseers, a painting completed between 1991-93, contains shades of ambiguity, clarity, and richness of light and color.
Risking the viewer’s comfort with uneasy scale, unusual framing, and altered perspectives in his paintings is one way Goodman confronts viewers with unfamiliar circumstances. The use of metaphysical qualities in his early work has drawn public attention since the early 1960s when he first gained prominence. His unique style has led to recognition beyond exhibitions at institutions such as MoMA and the Philadelphia Museum of Art where his pieces are featured.
Sightseers is a painting that garnered attention for its deadpan black comedy and ironic deployment of music. The artwork dramatizes scale, perspective, and framing while forcing viewers to confront themselves as voyeurs. Its subjects exist within their own world without any regard for their visibility or regard outside their isolated location. Beyond this cultural commentary on tourism culture’s disconnection from locals’ realities —goodman’s peace reinstates itself foremost as another example in which we have only ourselves alone with certain eventful truths about life.