Swish by Virginia Broersma

Though it deviates from the human form, Virginia Broersma ‘s  imagery is complicated by associations one may have with the body. This allows her to work through her own feelings about the presentation of our bodies as she consider the implications of what might be intriguing, uncomfortable or attractive to us in something as subjective and unreal as a painting.





oil on canvas






Swish by Virginia Broersma

Virginia Broersma is a Los Angeles based artist, whose recent exhibitions include a solo show at Autonomie in Los Angeles, CA and Fermilab Art Gallery in Batavia, IL and group exhibitions at the Palazzo della Provincia de Frosinone in Italy, the Oceanside Museum of Art, the Museum of Art and History and the Riverside Art Museum in Southern California. Broersma has been the recipient of a several grants including funding from the California Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Puffin Foundation and was awarded a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago, IL, which she received in both 2010 and 2011.

In my work I describe the body: its flesh, its postures, moods and dispositions. Built of rough and loose marks that congeal into something very precise, my paintings intertwine human likeness with the remains of the activity of painting. The forms are both recognizable as “body” and at the same time not identifiable. This has established my focus on allure and repulsion in terms of how we record the human form. Even a distant representation of a person can be conflated with measurements of perfection, beauty and the ideal.

Virginia Broersma Statement:

Recording and displaying the human image has been a perpetual impulse of humanity, from cave painting to selfies. The style and intentions may vary but two things remain constant: the complexity of what the image says about us, and how we try to control that message.  This is what draws me to the human form. I am interested in how even a fictional representation of a person can be conflated with measurements of legitimacy, beauty and the ideal.

My subjects are all connected to my discomfort with tidying up the unruly, taming nature, and the emphasis on being presentable as ways of affecting troublesome or unwanted natural states. It is in the moments of mess, shame, determination, indulgence, and accomplishment that we tend to be the most critical of ourselves and that is precisely why I am interested in reconsidering them.  Though it deviates from a realistic human form, my imagery elicits associations one may have with the body. This allows me to work through my own feelings about the presentation of my (or our) body/bodies as I consider the implications of difference, ambiguity and identification in those complicated moments.

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