exhibitions artists about contact


outsider artists

hawkins bolden
eugene von bruenchenhein
eileen doman
paul duhem
howard finster
william hawkins
s.l. jones
gilles manero
justin mccarthy
jean-michel messager
j.b. murray
philadelphia wireman
gerard sendrey
simon sparrow
carter todd
mose tolliver
robert wilkinson
purvis young

 Claire Stigliani: American (b. 1983)

about the artist

Claire Stigliani was born in 1983 in Alexandria, VA, and spent several years of her early girlhood in Austria. Her life since has been a peripatetic one, with extended sojourns in Portland, OR., Cedar Falls, IA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and elsewhere. She is currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where she is in her final semester, finishing the requirement for a master’s degree in art, and serving as a teaching assistant. She will have a solo show of her drawings and paintings at the Dean Jensen Gallery, opening 23 July 2010.

artist statement

I am interested in exploring the representation of the female body through historical portraits, narrative, popular culture, and personal identity.  A key tension in the work plays on my conflicting fan/critic relationship with femininity and beauty. I use female forms not only to mythologize, dissect, venerate, and criticize the portrayal of women, but also as a means to better understand myself.  

My work is inspired by my childhood experiences in Vienna, Austria, referencing Germanic folk tales and portraits of Austrian royalty. I play on the passive predicament of the heroine, appropriating patriarchal narrative structures and re-imagining them as vehicles of female empowerment.   Wealth, youth, sex, and beauty represent the traditional requirements for the realization of dreams, but they equally represent the source of feminine psychological confinement and isolation.  My drawings convey a tension between the perverse and the innocent.  They speak of a vulnerable sensuality and it’s flipside: physical corruption.  My drawings are the visual realization of a fictional past that incorporates bits and pieces of my actual history.  In my new work history is compressed.  Characters from my personal mythology freely communicate through the centuries to create a timeless space in which issues of the female condition, both past and present, can be explored.  

  My drawings represent female identity in the most socially idealized form and conversely in their most vulnerable state. The female figure is imbued with political significance, undermined by the traditional erotic representations of women by male artists.  It is both important and necessary to recontexualize the sexualized young woman as seen through the lens of youth, sexuality, and perceived power. My work is a celebration of femininity in its most joyous and darkest manifestations.

-- Claire Stigliani

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