Corinna Ripps Schaming, in: Flicker, exhibition brochure, University Art Museum, Albany, NY, 2006

Bettina Sellmann’s paintings evoke the conventions of Old Master portraits, conveying a sense of both mourning and desire articulated through familiar painterly conceits. Using multi-layered, translucent pigments in pale pinks, powder blues, and Day-Glo yellows and greens, Sellmann renders delicate watercolors on canvas in which solidity and form immediately break into fluid distortions. By peeling back the confines of exterior controls in this way, she reveals the truly illusory and contrived nature of representation. And by penetrating the outward signs of entitlement, Sellmann gives us a more socially charged and internalized portrayal of her subjects, suggesting the psychological isolation and inevitable decay that lie just beneath the surface of perfected appearances.