Essenhigh’s work is considered to be “pop surrealism”. As an artist centered in New York City Essenhigh produces works that are vibrant, yet flat in color. I first stumbled across her work while browsing through the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts website. I found her piece “Green Wave” and was immediately intruiged.
To me the first person that popped into my mind while browsing through her work was Tim Burton. Her work possesses the same surrealistic, deranged point of view that came from the brilliant film maker. Many of her pieces even resemble some of the backgrounds I would expect to see in his claymations, and other films. The balance of both a whimsical nature, and skewed view of reality in her paintings immediately took me back to my childhood years watching the movie “Alice and Wonderland” for days on end. I absolutely loved the nonsense creatures, and alternate worlds, and that is exaclty what her work represents to me.
Her piece “Green Wave” ties together the styles of both a cartoonist and an oil painter. To me the green wave that travels throughout the piece resembles an octupus. The eye rests behind the curve of the wave while the tentecals curl around the grasshopper. I really do enjoy how subjective her work is, each person can create their own interpretation of what it respresents.
Her piece placed on the right is titled “In Bed”. When first seeing this piece I immediately thought that the large blue bed was a table made up of a flower of some sort. The figure that is in the bed is hard to identify as the harmonious hues and chromas make it difficult to distinguish different subjects.
Essenhigh is defenitly an artist I plan to look into more for my final ten artists.