Senior Resident Advisor, Chair of the Residence Hall Exhibitions (RHE) Committee
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
www.tessaedgren.com/
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Tessa Edgren creates characters in her work that allow her to portray the confusing interaction between religion and sexuality. The young sisters around which much of her work revolves are a study of the simultaneous over-sexualization and cuteness of young girls and the fetishization of religiousness and purity… Read More
Tessa Edgren creates characters in her work that allow her to portray the confusing interaction between religion and sexuality. The young sisters around which much of her work revolves are a study of the simultaneous over-sexualization and cuteness of young girls and the fetishization of religiousness and purity in those same girls. These same intersecting issues have created a subculture—or sisterhood—of "sad girls," young women who grew up in religious households, suppressed and oppressed by the virgin ideal. These characters act out Tessa's fantasies and fears, especially those centered around sex, purity, and death. Although the twins are young, in some of the work Tessa uses that age to enhance the anxiety around preparing for death.

Much of Tessa’s work consists of water-based materials on heavy weight water color paper. Some of the water-based materials she uses in her work are neon colored gouache, chalk pastels, india ink and cartooning paint. Tessa often drenches paper in water to achieve a glowing, airbrush-like quality. She also adds water on top of chalk pastel to achieve a rainbow effect underneath the flesh of the children she paints. Tessa uses childhood photos and children's book illustrations as references for body positioning and posture.

Her work is heavily influenced by artists such as Henry Darger, Kiki Smith, Francisco Goya, David Choe and Edvard Munch. Other sources of inspiration include Catholic artwork, the Salem witch trials, 60's fashion and Alice in Wonderland.

Tessa Edgren is represented by Maybe Sunday Gallery, 1320 W 18th St, Chicago, IL | 2016 Read Less
  • Senior Resident Advisor
    School Of The Art Institute Of Chicagp — Chicago, IL, USA
  • Senior Resident Advisor Committee Leader of Resident Hall Exhibitions (RHE)
    School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago — Chicago, IL, USA
  • Gallery Assistant at Sullivan Gallery
    School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago — Chicago, IL, USA
  • Resident Advisor
    School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago — IL, USA
  • Gallery Assistant
    PLHK Gallery — IL, USA
  • Graphic Design Intern, Gallery Assistant
    Gallery 400 — IL, USA
  • Graphic Design Intern
    Hensel Phelps — CO, USA
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