From the series, Peel - America 2020
Paper and acid free glue on marble
12 x 12 x 0.5 in / 30.48 x 30.48 x 1.27 cm
For the past decade, I have been working with mass media imagery, a symptom of the hyper consumer and throw away society we live in. Peel - America 2020 is a recent series of collage of magazine images of skin on industrially produced/commercial tiles.
I started this series a year ago from the utopian idea to "break open" the culturally and politically imposed boundaries of race and gender that are so deeply engraved in our society, and even in our bodies. Today's commercial culture generates white-centric images that mask the open wounds of division and inequality at large. I take such imagery as my raw ingredient to expose this tension and with this series, I aim to express the complexity and the messiness of our deep history and current society. From white-centered mainstream magazines like Vogue, I cut out models' skin and layer it over and over with glue and acrylic paint to create a bas-relief on tiles. I sand, cut, and carve with sharp knives to reveal the deeper layers beneath. The skins peel, uncovering strange patterns and melting boundaries. We are all in this mess together, we can not stand on the sidelines, our histories and cultural health are interconnected and interdependent.
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Based in Long Island City, NY, Hedwig Brouckaert is a Chile-born, Belgian artist working with mass media imagery as source material to create highly personal works. Her artistic practice consists of drawing, digital and mixed media, and site specific installations. She obtained an M.F.A. from the University of California Davis, after a Master’s Degree in Sculpture and a Postgraduate Degree at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Belgium. She has received several Artist Grants from the Flemish Government in Belgium, and fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation – Bellagio (IT), Liguria Study Center Bogliasco (IT), Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, Hafnarborg Museum of Iceland, Yaddo (NY), and Anderson Ranch (CO). Her work was presented in Re/pro/ducing Complexity at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (BE), Städtische Galerie Villa Zanders (DE), VOLTA NY (2014 & 2018), Kentler International Drawing Space (NY), Bangkok Art and Culture Center (TH), and Pallazo Vendramin Costa (Venice IT). Brouckart's work has been featured in The New York Times and The Brooklyn Rail.