Vanessa Bischoff

About the Artist

Vanessa BIschoff was born in Georgia in 1997 and has lived there her entire life. Having grown up a woman of color in the south her tastes and influences fluctuated between fitting in with trends and passive rebellions. Throughout her life, Vanessa has always been fascinated with nature and the beauty of the world but also the underlying elements that could steer optimists towards pessimism. These interests led to an appreciation for expressive art that started her on the path of nonverbal communication. Her attraction to art was cultivated during her teenage years and further evolved when she chose to work towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art.

During her sophomore year of college, Vanessa discovered her love for ceramics and moved away from painting. She learned to combine her interests and gravitated towards creating aesthetically pleasing discomfort in her work. Finding inspiration in artists like Shary Boyle, Judy Chicago, and less known Steve Ferrara, and Stephanie Shih, Vanessa progressed towards juxtaposing ideas of lighthearted whimsy and existential dread. She consistently allows her work to challenge her to adapt throughout the process, often leading her to a more organic method than intended.

After her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is obtained, Vanessa intends to work towards a master’s degree focusing in ceramics, so that she can hone her skills and eventually teach at the collegiate level. 

Artist Statement

Vanessa Bischoff’s work inspects the proposed values of womanhood in America through a narrative that follows a fabricated extremist society that utilizes subliminal messaging to manipulate women into complacency in the service of their male counterparts.

           

She primarily work in ceramics and painting but experiment with other media casually. Her work could be considered overall playful and detail oriented. Bischoff is inspired by dystopian literature, but in the past she’s been drawn from the expressive colors of Fauvism as well as various individual contemporary artists. Her process involves a generous amount of research before formally beginning to create.

Her thesis work is heavily influenced by feminist art, war propaganda, and George Orwell’s 1984.  The society this takes place in objectifies and beats women down so that they cling to what gives them validation, often centered around keeping women in a metaphorical sexual shell. Half of the work focuses on the rhetoric released to the public as propaganda while the other half is from the point of view of a jaded woman aware of their tactics as a reaction to the manipulation. The work is intended to be a call and response. For example, Mano Fico is a response to the idea that a woman needs to be pure to be considered valid. She chose the imagery of figs because they are known to symbolize the vulva. The Roman's used to use a vulgar hand sign representing a fig as an insult, so this piece is a nod to that idea. The piercings in the figs are another act of defiance by alluding to the idea of a female genital piercing most known for enhancing pleasure therefore owning one's sexuality. The overall idea stems from growing up in a culture that tells women that we should strive to get married, stay “pure” for a man, be ashamed of our changing bodies, and get an education but only use it until you become a mother because you will become a mother.

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