Trine Boesen is not a pop-artist

Posted on April 26th, 2003 in English, Texts

By Julie Damgaard. 2003

Trine Boesen is not a pop-artist. While she does lift existing images from their original contexts and places them in new compositions, she never does this without first manipulating these images. To simply identify her pieces with advertising, consumerism and mass communication would be to miss the point and to completely overlook the many unusual layers and subtle narratives that exist within her pieces. While it might seem that she varnishes her work with pop, the priming consists of something other, that being the gothic, and in here lays its significance and its strength.

Trine Boesen tells stories of the heart. She feeds materials from magazines, books, photos and films into her internal database which in turn provides the picture surface with its iconic motifs. Through the coordination of a variety of signs, she sketches out a parallel world of energy, tempo and fantasy which draws the spectator into a mixture of solemn awe and cheerful surrender, and in a magical way speaks of the overload of symbols and elements that forms the world- that we every day bring into order and use to systemise our individual lives.

Order and chaos exist as two concrete levels which push themselves towards each other. This integration leaves behind its imprint on both elements, and as a result, what was once a recognisable motif suddenly becomes twisted by an abnormality of scale and angle, or by a momentary semi-abstract transformation of a figure into a lampshade or a telephone.

In the art of Trine Boesen, the graphic drawing is neither more real nor fictitious, meaningful nor illogical than the coloured explosive space. One can, via the only partly coloured images, speak of a level that is both present and empty, but even with this definition one has to be careful. The whole space of the picture possesses a brilliance of presence which comes as the result of the dynamism, action and aggressiveness of the drawings. Trine Boesen has recently underlined this presence through the lines’ transcendence of the surface in combination with an artistic incorporation of the surrounding space. Pop-up figures attached to the paper, drawings done on the wall and a doormat placed in front of the picture are strategies that provide a conspicuous tactile physical presence.

With a sweeping gesture, the spectator is invited into Boesen’s filmic universe. One now exists – in the best science fiction style – as the main character in a divided space in which, as in gothic art, the central motif and its surrounding non-figurative sphere are skilfully arranged in relation to each other, and where the proportions gets distorted by the mystical euphoria of storytelling. The raw central field in the picture exists in a miraculous moment, open for the spectator’s input and interaction, and like in the reifying, concrete reality, s/he is invited to make a selection in order to mix a colourful, exotic cocktail.

translated by
Jon Lewis & Maibritt Rangstrup