Lena Gustafson, Visual Artist, Oakland, CA.
"My lens is often focused on the strength of femininity. I am interested in the private relationships women have with their bodies and with others. Much of my creative output is from the culmination of many observations of women being themselves, doing their thing. My hope is that this work can be used as a mirror to the people from whom I draw."
Lena's recent work uses bright colors and large female figures at the center of each image. She uses repeated visual symbolism such as flags, water, plant life, color, and repeated gestures to communicate different stories within the body. Often times the line that separates the figure from her environment are blurred.
Traditionally the female form has been used as a symbol to indulge others' fantasies, dreams, and fascinations. Lena is interested not in what can be projected onto it, but instead what lies to be awoken within the body itself. She is interested in the idea of body memory and aims to visualize what this would look like if we could see it. Rather than the figure itself it is the stored information within the figure as well as its surroundings that interests Lena. By engaging with the history of representation of the female form, Lena contemplates new narratives for which the female body can understand itself.
Lena is a visual artist based in Oakland, CA. After graduating from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2011, she cofounded Night Diver Press with her partner Peter Calderwood. Together they use silkscreen and other alternative printing techniques to create and publish multiples in the form of prints, books, zines, and monotypes. Lena's recent paintings are technically informed by her background in preparing images for screen-prints.