Vanessa Prager (USA, b. 1984) is a self-taught artist born and raised in Los Angeles. Prager is known for her elaborate impasto technique that creates layered and sculptural surfaces. Her figurative works engage the oil paint itself as a participant in the image. Prager explores themes of identity, self-reflection, voyeurism and the human condition in the 21st century. Reflecting on a world remotely observed via screens, her three-dimensional work is a direct reaction to that two-dimensional plane.
With big, heavy, drippy canvases and what can only be referred to as extreme painting, she rejects artificial hallowed hi-def crispness and reminds us that we don’t need pure likeness to feel most present, or most deeply. She subverts traditional techniques to re-present familiar subjects—nudes, still lifes, and portraits—all of which she offers as both veiled and distant, palpable and present, and undefined by gender. The faces she paints, and the expressions they portray, subtly reveal an often-overlooked, ordinary affect we all quietly share with the world.
Vanessa Prager has received recent solo shows with Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Los Angeles; The Hole, New York; and Kristin Hjellegjerde, Berlin and London. Her work was also included in Go Figure! Curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody at Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY; and group shows at OTI, M+B, and Diane Rosenstein in Los Angeles, and Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.