Walking into an exhibition of work by American artist Valerie Hegarty, you might think there has been a terrible accident. Hegarty’s work is characterized by canvases and antiques that have been burned, ripped, cracked, shot at or otherwise destroyed. however the devastating state of Hegarty’s work is intentional. Her work is intended to evoke man’s struggle to civilize nature and the consequences which emerge.
“It’s almost as if it were planted in the ground and grew. I’ve been toying with making a landscape painting become a landscape itself. Is that somehow more accurate than simply painting a landscape? In the earlier work, I had taken paintings and sculptures from Art History and broken them down so that they looked as if they’d been through a natural disaster—so that there was even more historical information dumped on the historical painting.” Says Valerie of her painting “Unearthed”.
Valerie Hegarty is a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.