Anne Forest (Alkmaar, 1983) is a Dutch/American artist. She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Royal Academy of Art. She lives and works in Utrecht. Anne Forest about her work:
”I grew up in a house filled with Russian-orthodox icons. Visually, the impression these works made on me then is present in the graphic nature of the paintings, drawings and sculptures I create today, in which every line is holy, and depth and perspective are irrelevant. By combining this rigidness with the coarseness and unpredictability of the wide range of materials I work with, the inward struggle that drives me as an artist becomes visible: self-control, and the need to disrupt it.
I am an atheist, so it took a long time before I realized how much iconography has shaped me as an artist; both in the kind of work I make as in the kind of art that I’m attracted to – art that is quite naive and mystical in style. Since this realization, I have not only taken to studying icons as an art-form, but also to studying what purpose they serve and how a relationship is built between the religious viewer and the sacred subject. I strive to provide my viewer with a similar albeit more earthly encounter with the figures in my work.
To inspire this earthly element, I look to Renaissance and Baroque portraits and to woodcuts and etchings from the 15th and 16th century. Within the portraits I am especially drawn to such matters as body language, clothing and everyday objects that are implemented as symbolic props.
What I’m attracted to in the woodcuts and etchings is the primitiveness and naivety from which images of wild men and women and fantastic animals have emerged.
Besides the naive and the primitive the uncanny is another atmosphere I like immersing myself in. This is what attracts me to the work of such artists as Francisco Goya, Alfred Kubin, Francis Bacon, David Lynch, Cindy Sherman, George Condo, Matthew Barney, Natasha Kensmil, Dana Schultz and Allison Schulnik. This attraction is also responsible for all the nights I’ve stayed up late watching horror movies.”www.heden.nl/tentoonstellingen/anne-forest-lineage