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Barbara van den Berg

Digital Collage 'Frederique' 2016

The girls in these artworks are presented in exaggerated costume to provoke commentary on the hyperreal tropes of femininity. This series is an appropriation of the theatrical idiom, ‘behind the scene’. For the artist, this references to what is behind the mere visible and behind the façade. Employing both Pop and contemporary elements, she uses embellishments of puffed sleeves, large collars and crinoline dresses to emphasise the enduring power of female canons. Her portrait compositions take from Old Master paintings, and the enchanting dichotomy that she creates is provocatively realised within a dreamy, playful atmosphere.
As a mother to two daughters, childhood has become a leitmotif in her body of work. She has become inspired by their worlds of imagination, how an unabashed curiosity implores a fascinating path towards awareness through innocent bliss. It is this transition from pure naivety to experience that fascinates Van den Berg.