Vanessa Prager, Overgrown, 2023; Original Painting

**These original works are available via private sale only. Please email with your interest. 

Vanessa Prager is a self-taught artist known for her elaborate impasto technique, which creates layered and sculptural surfaces that reinvent familiar subjects such as nudes, still lifes, and portraits. Heavy and seemingly dripping with paint, her canvases reject the artificial, hallowed hi-def crispness often observed via screens, while exploring themes of identity, self-reflection, voyeurism, and the human condition in the twenty-first century. Born and based in Los Angeles, Prager has presented solo exhibitions at Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Berlin, Germany, and London, United Kingdom; The Hole, New York, NY, and Chicago, IL; Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA. 

In Overgrown (2023), a dense bouquets of flowers take the place of a bust’s head. Comprising varieties both real and imagined, the blooms lend a panoply of colors to the thickly rendered compositions. Verging on the point of three-dimensionality, the artist’s gestural brushstrokes appear simultaneously hurried and meticulous, recalling the details of works by Post-Impressionist masters. In the artist’s own words, “I make oil paintings with a heavy hand—pushing, scraping, poking, and puckering the paint into mountainous and momentous flowers. Flowers mirror the process of life, and insist on bringing beauty into even the most derelict and forgotten cracks of the earth.” Similarly framed in a pink setting, both figures’ identities are entirely obscured by the featured flora, leaving them subject to open interpretation by the viewer. By disguising her subjects, Prager reveals the often overlooked, ordinary affects that individuals quietly share with the surrounding world.

Vanessa Prager
Overgrown, 2023
Oil on canvas
72 x 48 inches

With environmental conservation a central tenet of ART FOR CHANGE’s mission, the artists invited for this exhibition confront and contribute to the move toward sustainability by exploring nature and the environment through content, methods, inspiration, or process. In conjunction with the exhibition, ART FOR CHANGE and Phillips will plant 1,000 trees to help counter the CO2 emissions produced by the art industry.

For this collaboration between Phillips and ART FOR CHANGE, the artist notes, “I use flowers to represent life in transformation—a metamorphosis where rebirth is continuously possible, and the future is creating itself while we watch on with hopeful eyes.”