Art and Cake

Posted on June 10, 2017

"A Painter and a Performance Artist walk into a bar..." featured on Art and Cake in an article by Amy Kaeser. 


"Starting something new is always exciting and nerve-racking at the same time, especially when you make that experiment public. The exhibition, “A Painter and a Performance Artist walk into a Bar…” contemplate new interdisciplinary modes of communication between Long Beach-based artist and curator Virginia Broersma and performance artist and Grab Bag Studio co-founder, Natalie Mik. They set out to explore the intersection of this discourse through this thoughtful collaboration on view by appointment until June 25th."

Read the full article HERE



Categories: press

Long Beach Post Write-up about Collaboration at Grab Bag Studio

Posted on May 23, 2017



Read the full article by Asia Morris HERE

Categories: press

"Ecstasy" Featured on Wall Street International

Posted on March 07, 2017





Full article here.



Categories: press

"Ecstasy" write-up in Art and Cake

Posted on February 02, 2017



The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley Photo Credit Kio Griffith

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley Photo Credit Kio Griffith

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley: Provocative Art at LACE

By Genie Davis

Through February 12th


Three curators from LACE’s Emerging Curators Program have put together a compelling seven-artist group show in The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley. Closing February 12th, this show vibrates with the dichotomy of pleasure and pain, the flip sides of that coin and the way in which moments of transformation are bound to and cause both.

Curated by Virginia Broersma, Nick Brown and Kio Griffith, the works here engage on a serious level, with subjects such as religious experiences, race, gender, and sexual identity permeating richly evocative artworks.

The exhibit is decidedly poetic, touching on the thematic conundrum that we may indeed be inspired from something as horrific as a mad scientist creating a new life. Or that we are in fact that scientist. Our own internal alchemy is both wondrous and terrifying. With Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as the show’s inspiration, we are looking at the fearsome as inspirational, and the inspiration, the impulse to create, as perhaps more than a little frightening itself. We are looking, in short, at the passion of creation and the transformative and terrifying aspects of change that creation can bring.

The curators have described their show as both “exhibition and lab,” with some works drawing from history, others an homage to literature. Artists exhibiting include Cassils, Nathan Danilowicz, Valerie Hegarty, Naotaka Hiro, Candice Lin, Gala Porras-Kim, and Annie Lapin. The experiment is in the eyes of the viewer.

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley Photo Credit Kristine Schomaker

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley Photo Credit Kristine Schomaker

Viewers enter the exhibit by way of a passage created by artist Nathan Danilowicz’s Volans Anguli. This piece evolves as one enters the gallery from overpowering black beams to flying buttresses toward the back of the room. These suggest images of a shattered cathedral or the bones of a ruined giant.

Candice Lin offers The Worm Husband a hand-blown terrarium in which silkworms weave cocoons. Transformation, re-imagining, and a striking commentary on something that is taken over, adapted without choice strike the viewer. Valerie Hegarty’s “Ghost of History” uses distortion, painting and repainting, to create a new take on a historical painting of George Washington. Her changes are not positive – she may or may not be referencing our present political state: perhaps there are no more “patriots” and we are instead subsumed into something far darker, more inchoate. Hegarty also exhibits an installation that includes thickly layered painted papers on the floor and walls, which is then peeled back. Secrets? Other places, hidden? Have we covered or are in the process of exhuming transformation?


Notaka Hiro’s video is dark and dreamlike, another take on transformation. Night and Fog, Tubes on Black Mountain is both nightmare and vision, a response to a film he himself saw about the Holocaust. Viewers watch a somewhat loathsome image of sausage meat unraveling, falling apart, like all flesh torn asunder. Ashes to ashes and meat to – meat.

Another video work, by transgender artist Cassils, takes viewers along on a performance of Tiresias who transformed from man to woman. Here the artist’s body is pressed into an ice carving of a Greek statue, melting that ice with body heat. This video appears as a commentary on transformation as painful as well as on the transience of any form.

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley Photo Credit Kristine Schomaker

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley
Photo Credit Kristine Schomaker

From the exhibit’s title and the elegiac feel of these artworks the exhibition is a tribute both poignant and powerful, a tribute above all else, to change itself. To the imagination, the dreams, the nightmare, the often dark alchemy of human existence, and our insistence on telling our story, whether in the words of Mary Shelley or in the visionary art exhibited here.

LACE is located at 6522 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood.


See the full article and pictures on the Art and Cake website. 



Categories: press

"Ecstasy" reviewed in CARLA

Posted on January 26, 2017



The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley at LACE


The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley at LACE (installation view). Image courtesy of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Image: Chris Wormald.

Taking its title from two stories of profound transformation, The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley fills LACE with a lugubrious installation of works by Los Angeles artists that feels appropriate to the political cataclysms of 2017. Between the religious highs of the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa and the monstrous overtones of Shelley’s Frankenstein, the common ground presented by the objects on view centers firmly around the body, its representation, and its intimation.

Figures abound throughout the dimly-lit gallery, including those of the live incubated silkworms in Candice Lin’s The Worm Husband (Our Father)(2016) and in Cassils’ video Tiresias (2013), in which the artist presses themself against an icy Greek male torso, melting it gradually to reveal the artist’s nude form. Bodies are implied in Nathan Danilowicz’s imposingVolans Anguli (2016), an installation of pitch-black L-beams that dwarf onlookers as they weave between them. The intestinal raw sausage casings that curl around a ziggurat in Naotaka Hiro’s Night and Fog, Tubes on Black Mountain (2010), and the devastating Holocaust film alluded to by the video’s title, offer a darker version of visceral confrontation.

Does the exhibition mark a contemporary return to figuration? In reality it never left, particularly in L.A., with its history of body-based performances that gestured toward enlightened consciousness (Chris Burden, Barbara T. Smith) and MOCA’s 1992 exhibition Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s, which canonized the likes of Paul McCarthy as venerable proponents of the abject. The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley aims to plant itself somewhere between these two interlocking strains; despite its curators’ use of moody atmosphere to dramatically emphasize mystery and transcendence, the overall pungency of the works on view remains grounded—auspiciously so—in the baser, physical qualities of human existence in which these artists clearly revel.

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley is on view January 4–February 12, 2017 at LACE (6522 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028).


Categories: press

"Ecstasy" Feature in Visual Art Source

Posted on January 23, 2017

“The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley"
LACE, Hollywood, California 
Preview by Elenore Welles 

Candice Lin, "The Worm Husband (Our Father)" (detail), 2016. silkworms, tank, glazed porcelain, plaster and heating mechanism and miscellaneous plant material. 61 x 31 x 150 cm. Commissioned by Gasworks. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Andy Keate.

Continuing through February 12, 2017

“The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley” features seven artists who share a primal fascination with the process of transmutation. All share an almost bi-polar attraction to the highs and lows of existence, and each is particularly drawn to the pleasure/pain paradoxes associated with mutated existences. 

Conceptual associations are drawn from a variety of subjects and experiences, such as surreal dream imagery, ritual elements and political distress. However, as the title suggests, inspirations also stem from Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, a mad scientist who created a living creature from dead material through experiments with electricity. Another key source is the narrative of St. Teresa of Avila’s (1515-1582) vision of spiritual ecstasy produced by thrusts to the heart by an angel with a golden spear. This was most notably depicted in Bernini’s sculpture “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” (1651).

Shelley (1797-1851) wrote her masterpiece in the early 19th century, when the science of electricity and pseudo-science of alchemy clashed with occult ideas. Frankenstein’s monster represented the potential for new scientific creations to go wrong, the implication being that monsters are not born but made. Considering the advances in science and technology in the two centuries since, we have unleashed the creation of some previously unimaginable monsters, such as nuclear weapons.

But it is the monsters within us that some of these artists attempt to fathom and exorcise. For some, transformative ideas may stem from surreal dreams or mythology, their focus centered on the intersections between science and mysticism. Others draw from historical and literary sources, using interdisciplinary methods to upend metaphorical monsters such as imperialism and colonialism.

Nathan Danilowitz’s large-scale installation serves as a passage into the exhibition. Starting at the front entry room, it  moves into the main gallery. Along the way, on black painted walls are geometrical drawings and architectural elements such as flying buttresses. Candice Lin’s “The Worm Husband (Our Father),” alludes to the forced adaptations produced by colonialism, particularly when societies with different ethnicities are conquered by predominantly white societies. In her hand-blown terrarium, silkworms weave cocoons, metaphorical references to how these worms were ostensibly used in creams to whiten naturally dark faces.

Valerie Hegarty subverts 19th century art historical revisionism in paintings that are repainted and then battered beyond recognition. “Ghost of History,” for example, was inspired by John Faed’s portrait of George Washington taking a salute at Trenton. Extending an earlier series where she redirects the narrative of American heroic paintings, she uses ruination as a method to distort the original works' idealism beyond recognition.

Cassils is a transgender artist [thus the second person plural pronoun is used in this article—Ed.] who demonstrates transcendence through ritual performance and body art. They exhibit a video of their performance “Tiresias,” a Greek mythological tale. A figure in ancient Thebes’ historical legends, Tiresias was transformed from a man into a woman. In the spirit of catharsis, Cassils, creates draconian performances as a way to transcend physical limitations. They follow in the footsteps of artists such as Chris Burden and Barry Le Va, who put themselves through extreme physical ordeals. Their “Tiresias" performance consists of pressing their body against the back of a Greek male torso carved out of ice. Over a 4 to 5 hour time period, they melt the ice with his body heat. It’s an attempt to prove that not only can transformation be a continuing process, it often includes pain and endurance as part of the price of admission.

Naotaka Hiro's video of his kinetic sculpture “Night and Fog, Tubes on Black Mountain” was created in response to a documentary he saw about the Holocaust. Hiro’s works, which stem at times from dream imagery, are often centered on interior body parts. His representations vacillate between the conceptual and literal, specifically when he breaks the body down to basic elements, such as entrails. In “Night and Fog,” a long tube of red meat slowly unravels as it swirls around the surface of a black ziggurat. Eventually falling apart, the images remind us that the remains of a body will decompose to oblivion.

As these artists attest, transformations can produce paradoxical mixtures of pain and fear. Or, as exemplified by the Frankenstein metaphor, they can also create chaos.




Categories: press

"Ecstasy" Review in Artillery Magazine

Posted on January 12, 2017


Mary Shelley LACE 12

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley

The curators of Ecstasy, Virginia Broersma, Nick Brown and Kio Griffith, characterize their show as an “exhibition and lab” (the latter aspect of which may be more prominent in a couple of the objects by Candice Lin included here); but its installation has the airy feel of a frame or skeleton – an open vessel for the viewer’s imagination. Their stated intention was to conflate the Shelley moment of terror that inspired her classic horror novel, Frankenstein, with the ‘ecstasy’ of Saint Teresa, but the inspiration is really the same: the Promethean fire urging humanity ever more ambitiously forward towards unlocking the secrets of the universe (or the gods), yet simultaneously unleashing the staggering hubris with which we desecrate that same universe. Nathan Danilowicz’s Volans Anguli, with its brutalist black beams fashioned into flying buttresses angled into the wall, or broken and criss-crossing each other, evoke both broken ‘skeleton’ and broken flight or ambition, even the civilization’s self-cannibalization. Annie Lapin’s paintings, hung mid-gallery as if they were doors (which in a sense they are) simultaneously evoke opacity amid transparency, a chthonic universe, and an ethereal bioplasm in constant flux. Naotaka Hiro has compressed what might be characterized as a similar birth process into a ziggurat of sausage (or shit) – rendered here as both video performance and sculpture. Works by Gala Porras-Kim, Valerie Hegarty, and video/performance artist, Cassils, and Candice Lin are no less striking. ‘Science project’ aspects aside, Lin projects in her five works here a ‘creatures of Prometheus’ vision – the notion of a pathway out of the gloom and chill that envelop us in civilization’s twilight.


Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
6522 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Show runs thru February 12, 2017

Categories: press

Beach Bodies: The Dysmorphic Abstractions of Virginia Broersma

Posted on October 20, 2016

This essay was commissioned by Peripheral Vision Arts through their Publication Fellowship program. My sincere thanks to PVA for awarding me the inauguaral Fellowship and to Grace Linden for writing such an exceptional essay about my work. 



Figure 1: Virginia Broersma, Myself As A Bouquet (For You), Oil on canvas, 45 x 36 inches, 2015


Beach Bodies: The Dysmorphic Abstractions of Virginia Broersma

by Grace Linden


Virginia Broersma does not remember when she first became aware of appearance. But feelings about her own body and bodies more generally, have been “locked…into [her] psyche”[1] since she was a teenager. She explains, “My image of my own body has always been linked to what others think of me and their standards.”[2] Broersma’s artistic practice, consequently, has been an effort to resolve these views.

Broersma is a painter in the traditional sense. Her brushwork is gestural and sweeping, and extends to the edges of the canvas. The colors are layered, bright, and multi-hued, and the impasto technique coupled with the rich tones adds texture to the canvas. All of these painterly methods put Broersma’s treatment of the body, specifically the female body, in dialogue with paintings of the past. Consider her 2014 painting Sunbather (Odalisque) [Fig. 2], part of the series Dythrambic, in which an abstracted nude figure sprawls across a beach. A rounded stomach fixes the body while the limbs – too many to count! – radiate outwards. There is a long tradition of odalisques in art’s history and such paintings show a nude, reclining figure at the center of the canvas, often flanked by an attendant.  By titling her painting Sunbather (Odalisque), Broersma overtly situates her composition within this traditional art historical genre and its related discourses.



Figure 2: Sunbather (Odalisque), Oil on canvas, 60 x 90 inches, 2014 


From French, odalisque translates to a "female slave" or "concubine" in a harem, particular to Ottoman Turkey. Implicit in the definition is a sense of ownership: the nude female is to be gazed upon by men, and owned within that gaze.  The abstraction of the body, however, allows Broersma to subvert this relationship. While the figure is most likely female, evinced by the genitalia and curved thighs, the many flailing limbs transform the lower body into a gnarled, root-like mass, a sea creature stranded on land.  

Broersma’s practice explores questions of idealized Western standards of beauty and power structures of the gaze. While her work has obvious ties to other artists—Lisa Yuskavage comes to mind, but more on her later—perhaps it is best to locate these paintings within the greater, psychological debate surrounding body image and body dysmorphia. Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) causes a distorted view of the body and creates anxiety about one’s appearance. In part, BDD is affected by dominant images of female beauty that are circulated so constantly by the media: slim, white, and impossibly attractive. In the recent article “‘Digitized Dysmorphia’ of the female body: the re/disfiguration of the image,” Isabelle Coy-Dibley examines the way that Western beauty and sex industries have “hyper-sexualized society” through their use of the female body as a “currency.”[3] She writes: “Rather than being naturally beautiful in a person’s own individuality, society continually prescribes a Westernized standard of beauty that unceasingly narrows, not just in waist size, but in the generic, homogenous perception of beauty it idealizes, which is often considered as white and able-bodied.”[4] In today’s image-culture, where the photograph governs all, one competes not just against media representations but also against one’s own self as documented across social media platforms.

“[Internet] technology,” writes Coy-Dibley, “frequently emphasizes and perpetuates certain standardizations of femininity.”[5] It also allows for one to constantly edit his or her digital avatar to promote a particular look. The ability to change one’s look for itself is not the problem, but rather that the expectations are so demanding and defined. Editing for the sake of editing is one process; editing to put forth and uphold unrealistic and narrow beauty norms only serves to further cement those norms.

It is within this framework that we can best situate Broersma’s practice. Early works from the series Knockout seem to directly take on the distortion promoted by the media. Mop-up or Wipeout (2013) appears to be a portrait, though everything figural in the painting is unrecognizable. Nevertheless, the swirling white and peach tones, encircled by a dark chestnut brown, suggest a face, though one that has been filtered excessively. That the face is present but cannot be identified as a face is characteristic of the ways in which digital tools can radically alter reality. With her dynamic and vigorous brushstrokes, Broersma has shown how easily flaws and individuating marks can be smoothed over until the person that remains dissolves into nothing. 

Broersma’s practice explicitly deals with the role of the gaze: Who does the looking and what is seen? But interestingly, these paintings implicate men and women, while earlier feminist works questioned the primacy of the male gaze. In her seminal essay, “Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema,” Laura Mulvey details the relationship between the looker (man) and the looked upon (woman):

In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female figure which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact.[6]

Consider again the odalisque, a woman who would have been actually owned by men. Sensuous representations of her body, such as Ingre’s famous Grande Odalisque (1814), encourage the (male) eye to linger on the female form. Men look; women are to be looked at and shaped for a male audience. Feminist art of the 1960s and 1970s challenged this binary by suggesting new ways of looking. Artists such as Judy Chicago, Hannah Wilke, and Carolee Schneeman defined a new vocabulary for considering the female body. When depicted by female artists, the nude body serves a different purpose.  

There is a striking link between Broersma’s paintings and feminist photographer Cindy Sherman’s Centerfold series. Sherman typically works in series, dressing up in various costumes to construct her scenarios. For the 1981 Centerfolds, she riffed on the centerfolds found in men’s magazines, but instead of sexy, pinup girls, Sherman’s characters look more like vulnerable victims. InUntitled #93 (1981), a girl lies in bed pulling the sheet up to her shoulders, bathed in a bright nighttime light. She stares unflinchingly ahead and looks preoccupied.  With the title "Centerfold" there is the implication of a certain type of representation, but Sherman deliberately upends this preconceived expectation. Similarly, by titling her 2013 series Knockout, Broersma suggests a specific narrative: the woman as a bombshell. In actuality, the series abstracts the female form making it dynamic, aggressive, and at times even frightening.

The association between the body and abstraction remains an essential element in Broersma’s paintings. Trophies is a 2015-16 series of twelve paintings that transform the female body into flora. In Myself as a Bouquet (For You), 2015 [Fig. 1], indistinct corporeal forms are grafted to floral elements suggesting a painful process of metamorphosis. Offset by green and brown leaf-life shapes, these bodily elements are being gifted to us the viewer. While flowers are a typical courtship ritual, here the female body is proffered instead-- much as women are assessed daily. At the center of the bouquet there is even a protruding pink tongue of a salivating suiter. Set against a bright and fanciful yellow backdrop, Broersma’s Myself as a Bouquet... hints at Lisa Yuskavage’s figurative paintings. Yuskavage has developed her “own genre of the female nude,”[7] and her compositions feature cartoonish, nymph-like women, often with exaggerated breasts and thighs. Yuskavage representations are more literal, but both artists inflate and embellish their representations of women to highlight society’s disfigurement of the female body.

Trophies demonstrates a maturation in Broersma’s work which is best exemplified in Pool Party Jitters (2016) [Fig. 3]. Curved soft forms – limbs – are braided together and float against a crystal blue. Intertwining with this mass is blue and white cloth which can be easily read as a swimsuit. Like the earlier Sunbather (Odalisque)Pool Party Jitters, too, negotiates the same themes of beach body culture, body shame, and the extreme pressures placed on women. Unlike its predecessor however, the latter canvas is much more beguiling. Sunbather (Odalisque)’s recognizable lounging woman is a straightforward attack on the values Western society holds dear; Pool Party Jitters instead shows the dissolution of the self, or what happens when those values come to govern all. It is a much more damning portrait of beauty standard’s effects on women at large.

Figure 3: Pool Party Jitters, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2016

Figure 3: Pool Party Jitters, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2016


Broersma’s practice emerged directly from her own experiences with men, with the world, and with herself. As a result of this controlled engagement, her paintings present ruminations on white female beauty. Her color pallet is (mostly) limited to rosy pinks, peachy oranges, and hues of beige. There are few paintings that do use darker colors such as Hold Me Tight and Grotto, but as both of these look especially vegetal, the connections between organic forms and the human body are obscured. Indeed it could be argued that Grotto is actually just a landscape and not at all figurative. While the lack of diversity is noticeable, it is not necessarily problematic. Broersma is clear to explain that Trophies, in particular, mines her own life experiences: “I manipulate the visual representation of a person to regain agency in how I choose to present myself and the body.”[8] The representation is narrow because she only knows her own experiences. These are, consequently, intensely intimate images.

Equally thought-provoking is this idea of the individual in art. So much of art’s history has focused on the unique genius; only recent modern studies have cast aside biography-centric approaches in favor of new methodologies. Not to spend too much time belaboring this point, but nonetheless it is interesting to consider how large a role biography plays in Broersma’s practice. Instead of denying any personal resonance with the works created, Broersma embraces (and heightens) the biographical elements. Her practice is truly a return to earlier techniques and considerations but viewed through a decidedly contemporary lens.

Like other feminist artists, Broersma asks that both men and women look, and look closely. All the looking, and the supersaturation of the present day image-culture, ensures that we remain hyper aware of what it means to be scrutinized and ogled. But Broersma also asks that we look at ourselves and that we try and see through a true mirror. (And that we root out that which causes distortion.) By using her body and life to refract these experiences, Broersma sacrifices privacy in the name of dialogue and protest. The works make clear that she will not stand idly by; she will not be gazed into submission.


[1] Artist’s statement as found on the artist’s website.

[2] IBID.

[3] Isabelle Coy-Dibley, “‘Digitized Dysmorphia’ of the female body: the re/disfiguration of the image.” Palgrave Communications, 05 June 2016. Accessed 6 October 2016.

[4] IBID.

[5] IBID.

[6] Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema.” Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. Edited by Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999) p. 837

[7] “Lisa Yuskavage – Biography.” David Zwirner. (Accessed on 12 October 2016)

[8] Artist’s statement as found on the artist’s website.



Categories: press, text

Ruinous decadence.

Posted on August 22, 2016






Categories: press

Artillery Magazine Review of Trophies

Posted on May 04, 2016


Virginia Broersma, Pool Party Jitters, 2016

Virginia Broersma, Pool Party Jitters, 2016


The Lodge / Los Angeles

In fact, you can’t shrug it off even when Broersma paints a “bad” picture. There were several such grating, dissonant canvases in this latest exhibition, and there were knowingly sour passages in several other works as well. In these places—oddly angled brushstrokes in otherwise brilliantly executed pictures, for instance, or dark figures and objects modeled with a vigorous clumsiness—Broersma slips easily but dramatically from the virtuosic rendering that typifies her approach into something much harsher. Most painters with her skill set would find it almost impossible to compromise such a skill set so deftly and so nastily. But Broersma can—in great part because she needs to.

Broersma is clearly not about the meaning of the picture she’s painting so much as she is the meaning of the way it is painted. Even so, subject matter is no mere armature for her to hang a style on. Like her previous series of self-portraits, her brightly colored pictures of tumbling and cascading forms, which quickly (if never entirely) reveal themselves as body parts, treat the flesh with passionate ambivalence, finding limbs and torsi, skin and meat at once delightful and disgusting. Beholding these piles of sinew immediately inculcates you in the making of choices, however hypothetical: do I consume it or escape it? Do I consume it gustatorily or carnally? Where is the line between sex and food, anyway? Is what I’m fleeing not the presence before me but that very question?

Broersma’s technique, more than her imagery, triggers this inner debate. What she paints may or may not be considered luscious, but she paints it with an imposing lusciousness. She invites us to bite, or kiss, or flee, not her subjects but her paint—or, more accurately, she invites us to embrace her subjects precisely because they cannot be separated from the way they’ve been painted. Is she then extending to us a sense of what it’s like to delight in the act of painting? Not really. She’s extending to us the power of paint itself, a substance whose emphatic facture renders it almost exotic at this moment of digital (that is, flat-screened) ubiquity. Such a conflation of paint and flesh reclaims a tradition that goes back through Soutine, Courbet, Magnasco to Titian and the Venetian School. In our consumerist yet puritanical age, this tradition seems at once perverse and liberating—especially in Broersma’s hands.



Categories: press, text

Virginia Broersma, Nick Brown and Kio Griffith selected for Emerging Curator Program at LACE

Posted on April 05, 2016


Emerging Curators Explore the Ecstatic Moment of Transformation


LACE announces its selection for the second Emerging Curators program, The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley, curated by Virginia BroersmaNick Brown and Kio Griffith. As Los Angeles’ premier experimental non-profit exhibition space, LACE created this program to discover and promote curatorial talent. The three curators have worked collaboratively since 2014. Their project was selected from a pool of 48 proposals that reflect the diversity of perspectives of the arts community. The jury comprised Helen Molesworth, MOCA chief curator, and artists Ken Gonzales-Day and Simon Leung. The exhibition will take place in January 2017.

This intriguing exhibition will feature work by artists who are inspired by the split second insight when transformation begins. The title alludes to the striking parallel between the moment when an idea hits and the moment life is conducted into Dr. Frankenstein’s monster in Mary Shelley’s tale. Whether employing media in alternative methods or toying with history through proxy languages, each of the artists works in a space of ecstatic conductivity, a state of flux. Their subjects include ecstatic religious experiences, Satori or enlightenment, transmogrification, race, gender and sexual identity.

According to juror Ken Gonzales-Day, “The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley was selected in keeping with LACE’s long history of providing the Los Angeles community with exhibitions that showcase the experimental, the political, and the provocative. Unlike other exhibitions that have considered the issues raised by borders and boundaries in explicitly physical or political terms, this exhibition will expand and complement such inquiries by foregrounding the generative force of transition itself. More poetic than prescriptive, the exhibition suggests that we consider anew those states that might have been historically characterized as “monstrous.” The curators have selected artists who consider mutations, riffs in identity, revolutionary moments, and ecstatic longing as transformed into precious and potentially liberatory moments of change. “

Virginia Broersma is an L.A.-based artist, writer and curator. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at The LODGE and Autonomie in L.A. and at Fermilab, the nation’s premier particle physics laboratory in Illinois.

Nick Brown is an L.A.-based artist and curator who was born in England. His work has been exhibited at galleries and museums nationwide, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and The Drawing Center, N.Y.

Kio Griffith is based in L.A. and Japan. He works as a visual and sound artist, independent curator, writer, and producer. He has exhibited in the U.K., Japan, Germany, Croatia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Turkey, Belgium and the U.S.

Categories: exhibition, press

AFTER EDEN a recommended show in July

Posted on July 15, 2015



After Eden is a one-night group exhibition featuring works by a select group of artists who agreed to depart from conventional portrayals of the human form in an attempt to illuminate the body in unfamiliar ways that read intimate yet complex. Curated by Durden and Ray, After Eden features works by Tanya Batura, Virginia Broersma, Michelle Carla Handel, Tom Dunn, David French, Liz Nurenberg, Cindy Rehm, Julia Schwartz, Kiki Seror, Meghan Smythe and Joey Wolf. After Eden will be open to the public on July 18 from 6 pm until 10 pm at MuzeuMM, located at 4817 West Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Categories: press

be-Art Magazine - Emerging Selection: LA Artist Virginia Broersma

Posted on May 20, 2015


Whether it is on paper or on canvas, the gesture is quite impressive. This young artist has something to say for sure. She would be the combination of Willem de Kooning and Annette Messager. Willem de Kooning for the strong gesture – probably due to the similar Dutch origin? -. There’s no hesitation on the canvas, each brush stroke plays like a sentence that would demonstrate a purpose. And combination with French artist Annette Messager for the audacity to explore the complexity of female intimacy. Broersma is leaving progressively the representational to lead us to another narrative both more sensual and more violent. Very strong! an artist to follow, BCh


See the full post at be-Art Magazine.


Categories: press

365 Artists, 365 Days

Posted on October 28, 2014


I was recently featured on this online project. Check it out here.






Categories: press