Inka Essenhigh is a very powerful and interesting artist. At the young age of 43, she has already made quite the name for herself. Her Online portfolio goes all the way back to 1996; therefor I was able to view her different styles and her progress as she grew. It is very interesting to watch her art grow, and change as she experiments with new styles. However, in order to understand an artist, you need to know a little about their schooling, where they were raised and where they live now. After you know where she is from, you can easier understand and pick apart her work. Inka Essenhigh was born and raised in Belfonte, Pennsylvania. She went to school at Columbus College of Art & Design in 1991 and went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1993. Her first solo exhibition was in 1997. It was called "Wallpaper Paintings," and was at La Mama La Galleria in New York. However, that was not her first exhibition; her first exhibition was a group exhibition in 1993, simply called "Group Show," with her School at the Wooster Street Gallery, New York. New York is where her art career took off and is also where she gets a lot of her inspiration. Inka Essenhigh currently lives in New York City with her husband Steve Mumford, who is also an artist. Inka Essenhigh’s work in 1996 is very pattern and society base. It would make sense because the title of the Exhibition was “Wallpaper paintings”. It would seem that she was trying to depict what boys were pressured to be in those times, either a soldier or a hoodlum. She ventured out from this pattern but retains the same style of small figures, with the same bright color pallets. She becomes more whimsical and abstract as she progresses, doing an excellent job of hiding the meaning in her paintings. In fact without the title of the pieces most of her work is indecipherable and makes you think. It is clear that she is trying to send a message to society. She is trying to show how messed up the...
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