Ulrika Andersson was born and raised in New York City to Swedish Parents. She has attended schools in New Orleans, New York, Lund (Sweden) and London UK. She is currently getting her MFA at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.
I make photo-referential paintings that are visual collages featuring a female protagonist in different highly constructed situations. Using items such as heirlooms, textiles, clothing and featuring close friends and family members in the images, the paintings are extremely personal and psychological. Yet they represent a fantasy, which ultimately represents my desire for the viewer to witness my fantasy. The paintings are cinematic, in the style of moody film stills that suggest ambiguous narratives and help to create a Lynchian atmosphere in the works.
I use painting and narrative to convey my personal psychological experiences in an indirect manner, a removed experience. Fiction and narrative contain material about the author without being a direct representation of who they are. The structure of comedy allows us to laugh at things without actually being happy. It creates a space where we can enjoy ourselves without the same investment as the true experience of joy. Painting also works in this sense as it is also once removed, a displaced experience. Perhaps there is no consensus to how we experience reality, but my paintings represent my memory of reality. They become my projected construction of nostalgia. I find things become too literal and defined if you think about them directly, but a story through painting can be revelatory.
I am aware of the many problems there are and have been for painting in contemporary art. “Painting is dead”, but it seems to persevere, and for me painting works with the displaced experience I am trying to create. My surfaces are almost completely smooth. They have an ease of description, nothing is overworked and yet nothing is simple. Painting creates a sense of awe which sets the stage for the viewing experience. Through painting I am constructing an image over time whereas a photograph captures an instant in time. The work is evidence of time spent with the image, the importance of it to me, and the time validates the viewers looking experience.v