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ABOUT THE ARTIST
Heidi Brueckner is a Professor of Art at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA where she has taught painting, drawing, and design for over 20 years. A native Californian, Brueckner studied at the University of Heidelberg and The Goethe Institute in Germany in the late 1980s. During this pivotal year, she visited the major museums of Europe and found herself heavily influenced artistically by 20th century German art. Brueckner received a BA in Fine Art and a BA in Art History from University of California, Santa Cruz in 1991. She received an MFA in Painting from University of Kansas in 1997. Professor Brueckner’s work has been shown at museums, galleries, colleges, and in publications nationally and internationally. She has received many awards and scholarships for her work. In 2018, she published the book “Monsterbet”, a series of 26 oil, acrylic, and mixed media paintings based on the format of a children’s alphabet book. The book is available for purchase at Etsy, Amazon, and at her website heidibrueckner.com. Brueckner has won 12 first place awards among others in 20-21, which include the Italian International Prisma Art Prize and the Faber Birren Color Award, and has participated in over 100 juried shows. Upcoming 2022 solo exhibitions include Buckham Gallery in Flint, MI; Abington Art Center in Jenkintown, PA; the Delaplaine Arts Center in Frederick, MD; and Kirkland Art Center in Clinton, NY. She currently lives and works in Oakland, California.
People are in interested in people, whether because of personality traits, actions, or outward appearance. My work is inspired by this curiosity and allows the viewer to be part of the observation. I think of my portraits as individualistic narratives which explore personage through self-presentation, facial expressions, and gesture. The work often inspects the under-revered, and appreciates the subject’s presence and dignity, giving pause to honor the person. Since the pandemic, I have worked solely on the subject because I’ve missed people and feel the need to study faces and expressions. This series includes friends, family, and people I have met through traveling. I have an assertive aesthetic and I use that to be a kind of “equalizer” in terms of the way people are depicted. My color is divorced from naturalism and therefore skin color is in a way taken out of the equation. The work is meant to honor the entirety of humanity—not just one section of the population or kind of person. This interest in multiculturalism has been continually present in my work through incorporation of pattern, symbolism, form, and ornamentation which reference art and cultures around the world. The work requires, and in fact dictate, expressive and textural paint handling, and frontal, almost discomforting and intrusive compositions to achieve psychological expression. I revel in playing with mixed media, exaggerated space, and distortion in order to enhance visual activity and conceptual impact.