Birgitte Philippides

Artist's Statement

I depict women frequently in their most vulnerable state either struggling with a particular issue in society or overcoming one. Radical honesty is a constant theme for me and getting many taboo topics out into the open is a favorite subject of mine.

Through my work, I strive to open discussions on a variety of topics that effect the female condition: body image issues, relationship struggles, eating disorders, poor self-esteem, and being a career woman in society today, among others. 

I am interested in painting the truth and the truth is often the ugly side of life. Although I am quite fascinated by beauty, I find that beauty is rarely honest.

I work in an intentionally imperfect and raw manner—mediums such as oil stick, oil paint (the older and crustier the better), nail polish and pencil. I then like to incorporate everyday household objects such as brillo-pads, nails, glass, fur and Band-Aids into my pieces. I work with objects that normally don't receive any attention for their beauty.

Painting on discarded objects and furniture that I find on the street fascinates me. Why were these objects not wanted? Can I possibly find a new purpose for them? I transform other people's refuse (canvases, furniture, mirrors, etc.) into my own new canvases. Other times I will stretch a canvas "freestyle" using stakes that I have found in the woods. It is important to me that both my canvases and my frames have character and a unique patina. I consider both the canvases and the frames to be an integral part of my work.

My titles are essential to my creativity and ground me with a very specific purpose in each piece. I paint from the title. I paint about the title. The title is always the first thing I concentrate on when I begin to work and it is through the title that I find the strength to paint the image.


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