Biography

American artist Gina Beavers (b.1974, Athens) lives and works in New Jersey.

In her work, she transforms images scavenged from social media and the internet into thickly layered acrylic compositions. Exploring the themes of self-image and consumerism, Beavers’ paintings are a whimsical yet uncanny meditation on our online existence.

Beavers earned a degree in Art and Anthropology from the University of Virginia and an anthropological curiosity is evident in her observation of social media. Drawing upon online trends and fetishes, such as ‘food porn’ and bodybuilders’ selfies, or makeup tutorials on Pinterest, her paintings transfer flat-screen images into bulging textural paintings with a physical, sculptural presence, akin to Claes Oldenburg’s deflated realism.

A rainbow-coloured creamy ice-cream cone, slabs of raw meat, heavily made-up lips and eyes are among Beavers’ repertoire of subjects, each endowed with a hefty tactility, with multiple layers of acrylic painted over a foam mould, the surface detail then sculpted by the artist. In monumentalising these found images from an identifiably American consumer culture, her works become both a resistance to the ephemerality of social media and a profound questioning of its projection of promised perfection through consumption and transformation.

“Rendered with an unsettling degree of realism, Beavers’ work is always more than merely representational. Whether depicting a painter’s palette or the fluorescent green of a bulbous tennis ball, her high-relief paintings protrude obscenely into the space of the viewer, insisting on their status as tactile things.” Oliver Shultz, Curatorial Associate at MoMA PS1.

Oliver Shultz, Curatorial Associate at MoMA PS1, 2019.

I feel that the original source images (I choose) look more clean and appealing and that my painting looks a little creepier. There’s a darkness or a surreal spookiness that has crept in. But seriously, part of my process is trying for this idea of beauty in the original image, and failing, and just living with the reality of the result.”

Gina Beavers in conversation with Oliver Shultz, MoMA PS1, 2019.

 

Born in Athens, Greece in 1974, Gina Beavers lives and works in Newark, New Jersey. She holds a BA in Studio Art and Anthropology from the University of Virginia (1996), an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2000) and an MS in Education from Brooklyn College (2005).

In March 2019, MoMA PS1 opened Beavers’ first solo museum exhibition, ‘Gina Beavers: The Life I Deserve’, accompanied by the artist’s first monograph. Other previous solo exhibitions Marianne Boesky, New York, Michael Benevento, Los Angeles; Carl Kostyál, London and Milan; James Fuentes, New York; Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; Cheim and Read, New York; and Canada Gallery, New York, among others.

Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Kentucky Museum of Contemporary Art, Louisville; the Nassau County Museum of Art, New York; the Flag Art Foundation, New York; the William Benton Museum of Art, Connecticut; Abrons Art Center, New York and most recently ‘Friends and Friends of Friends’ curated by Oli Epp at the Schlossmuseum Linz, Austria (September 2020).

Upcoming solo exhibitions include Neuer Essener Kunstverein, Essen in September 2021, and the Schlossmuseum Linz, Austria and Carl Kostyál Hospitalet, Stockholm in 2022.

 

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