Enter the creative world of artist Jennifer Holstrom, whose vibrant paintings focus on the empowerment of women. See more of her work on her website.
I’ve been an artist my entire life. I chose to pursue graphic design as a way of making a living while staying in a creative field. Then I began painting seriously in 2008.
As a creative person, a traumatized human, and a woman in our society, I have a fire inside me to break out of feeling oppressed, hidden, and silenced. I have an innate desire to express myself and my feelings through my artwork. Expressing oneself in authenticity is a scary concept.
In my life and my creative work, I am committed to meeting my fear head-on, and to stretching beyond it, perhaps even eviscerating it. I explore powerful color, contrast and texture. I also explore subject matter that is compelling to me and my sense of rebellion.
I’ve been playing with the portrayal of people, specifically women, as beautiful, enigmatic and elegant, while also being multi-faceted, gorgeously human messes.
In our society, women are held to a ridiculous standard of perfection. But we are still just humans, coiffed, with lipstick, jewelry, to-do lists, and plowing through a bag of chips.
Conversely, women who are salt-of-the-earth types naturally contain within themselves the elegant and divine feminine—a powerful spirit, beauty, and awareness that comes through in their presence. I’m looking to capture that ferocity.
I am inspired by black and white reference images from 1920s-50s photography of women in burlesque, actresses, musicians, dancers, performers of all kinds, shapes, ethnicities, and backgrounds. I am also inspired by my own trauma healing journey. I’m always making efforts to connect to the true power within myself.
My desire is to connect with those who can look at a person, or themselves, and see all the different facets. I’m calling out the juxtapositions of truths and facades that are inherent in our existence.
I have shown my work in several exhibitions around the Seattle area since 2011, as well as New York City, Portland, Oregon, and Taos, New Mexico.
As a professional graphic designer by day, painting offers me a release from the structure of purpose and monetary-driven design. Painting offers me a license to create the things I want to see in the world. It allows me to shine a light on the issues that I feel need more consideration and discussion.
Jennifer Holstrom invites you to follow her on Instagram.
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