In the weeks leading up to our first annual survey exhibition, 5790projects will feature one artist per week until the opening reception for “YEAR 1” at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock on Sunday, November 8 (6:30-8:30pm).
This week’s focus is on artist Andrea Joyce Heimer.
The darkly humorous, symbol-laden paintings of Andrea Joyce Heimer depict suburban dramas of love and lunacy that are based upon real people and events, and they are as intricately executed as their circuitous titles (i.e. – to cite one of the briefer ones – “Since Age 16 My Lovers Never Knew What They Were Getting Into, I’ve Wanted To Consume Their Thoughts, Climb Inside Them, And Utterly Devour Them”).
With what must surely be the longest titles in the history of art, it isn’t surprising that Heimer considers herself to be a writer as well as a painter. The text comes first, inspired by memories of adolescent alienation in the suburbs of Great Falls, Montana, where Heimer rode her bicycle around town and observed the often bizarre behavior of her neighbors.
Heimer only started painting eight years ago, entirely of her own volition, and has already produced a vast body of work. During one particularly bleak spell of depression, she abandoned her intention of painting realistically and gave herself over to working intuitively, resulting in her singular style of flat perspectives, misshapen figures and obsessive detail (particularly apparent in her idiosyncratic wallpaper designs). At first, Heimer regarded art as therapy, but it soon took over her life, and she now paints most the time, while continuing to work as a horse-trainer and riding instructor in rural Washington state. With paintings that are inwardly unsettling but outwardly fun, Heimer has succeeded in actualizing a highly personal vision and giving it universal appeal.
Heimer has had exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, Chicago, Seattle and Copenhagen, among other cities. Born in 1981, the self-taught artist resides in Washington. She is the first artist outside of Southern California to be featured in a 5790projects exhibition.