Inspired by the evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this online art exhibit presents a selection of works by Madeline Bohrer.
During the lockdown, Madeline Bohrer left her studio in New York City and moved to her parent’s house in the Berkshires. Bohrer only brought with her a 24 by 18 inch pad of paper and a bag of gouache paint. These circumstances have led her to work in a constrained medium allowing for new perspectives to manifest themselves. She started a series of self-portraits that reflect on COVID-19, an intimate diary of how the new situation influences her daily life.
In the paintings, the semi-nude artist poses in various chairs, alongside props that exemplify the anxieties of quarantine. Her raw brushstrokes and usage of contrasting colors emphasize her state of mind. "This is what I’m doing when no one is looking and this is me when I’m not trying to be beautiful and not trying to put on a filter. In my recent Self-Portrait Diary you see more the raw me rather than the beauty image of me I like to put on social media. The raw images speak to what’s happening right now, feeling subconsciously like a different person during the Coronavirus isolation. I think a lot of people can relate."
Concerned with the historical representation of women, Madeline Bohrer uses oil, acrylic, and gouache paint, as well as digital printing techniques to create diverse compositions that examine themes of technology, materialism, and femininity. Her abstracted, whimsical renderings predominantly feature female figures to highlight women’s relationships to themselves and the world. She often contrasts anachronistic imagery with modern technology, to reflect on society’s limitations on womanhood. In her works, Bohrer often re-appropriates Laura Mulvey’s concept of the “male gaze”, by painting women who not only want to be seen, but who look back. Her work is bold and self-referential. Madeline Bohrer (1992) lives and works in New York City. She is an alumna of Boston University, and received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.