Andrea Borsuk (1993)

In Search of the Elixir, oil on wood, 18x36", 2007
Squall Coming, oil on wood, 12x24", 2007
Spreading its Heavy Perfume, oil on wood, 12x24", 2007
Necessary Gambles, oil on wood, 18x36", 2007
Everything Lies in Silence, oil on wood, 18x36", 2007
Squall Coming, oil on wood, 12x24", 2007

I explore archetypes of beauty and femininity through a map of cultural interpretations and invented fantasies. I am interested in presenting the female form as a composite of historical and popular cultures. The imagery in these paintings both celebrates these prototypes of the female form and critiques its diversity of representations through a formal matrix of contrast and disjuncture.

I use the motif of jewelry as a (decorative) device to exhibit these various ornaments, and charms, creating new visual repetitions and reflecting familiar patterns of seeing. These "mementi mori" are meant to distract the gaze through presenting their profound, fleeting histories. Their formal, narrative and re-contextualized relationship to each other is what interests me.

Most recently, I have based the narrative on the three sisters of fate, the Moirae, who spin, weave, measure and cut the strings of destiny. Depending on the winds, these fateful 'jewels in the sky' reveal and represent our histories as a grab bag of trinkets that include a rich cast of characters who represent the ancient and the everyday, the demure with the brazen.

I ask the spectator to explore these relationships to one another and thus, invent a new story.

Andrea Borsuk
September, 2006


Memories of Prentis Hall still enter my dreams. Those vast studios with brilliant light, the views of the Hudson, and a history of painting students who, like me, were able to explore the city and retreat to the cocoon of art school. It was a perfect place to process the visual overload of living in the best city for an education in the arts.

In 1988, the Modernist professors berated my narrative work. Visiting faculty (the Neo-Expressionists and Feminists) kept me going. Visiting critics were the best part of the program--Brice Marden told me quite bluntly, "once you get out of grad school, your work will be much more interesting."

New professors sparred with the old guard (it was a transitional time for faculty and the program) and the students were varied in their philosophies and work habits. Some rarely worked, others lived in their studio. I enjoyed art history classes with the scholars, film classes with the experts and that amazing subterranean swimming pool.

Andrea Borsuk