Artist Statement / Bio

Bio

Rachael Gardner is an American artist who has called New York home since 2003. Rachael was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana before moving to Brooklyn, New York.  She has earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2007 from Pratt Institute in painting and has been exhibited since 2002 nationwide.  Rachael Gardner has been drawing and painting her whole life and is best known for her paintings, especially portraits.  She works in array of materials and mediums such as painting, printmaking, and sculpture.

Artist Statement

The Portraits series has been a social experiment for me. I’m very interested in social interactions and how our own personal “mental baggage” effects our actions and reactions to other people.  With only a few seconds glance we create a story of who someone is or how a situation should be handled. Those stories manifest in a viewer’s questions “why is this person important?” and “who are they?”. The viewers judgement and story created from it about who I have painted and their meaning to me or society says much more about the viewer than I could ever paint. When giving a portrait a title I focus on a feature or accessory that could be associated with anyone. This forces all associations of this person painted on the viewer, and making them an active participant in the work.  My interest in a subject often starts from a wrinkle, bone structure, an expression, or lighting. In my abstract work I focus on color, texture, and dimension of the piece.  These works are an experiment in technique along with composition that creates movement and depth.  My sculptures have ranged from the making of dangerous objects safe to play with along with traditional clay bust of a person.  The Location Based work is created as a reaction to my current or past surroundings and the effect it has on me.