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Dreams, Imagination and Reality: Seattle's Vrijmoet selected for the 5th Beijing International Art Biennale
Vrijmoet, Manure Fork Accident, 2010. Latex on Canvas, 80 x 50".

SEATTLE, WASH.- The theme of the 5th Beijing Biennale is “Future and Reality.” It challenges the selected artist to “reflect upon the crisis that exists now, promote the crisis [of] consciousness and social cultural responsibiltiy.” The Biennale intends to collect about 600 pieces of work (mainly painting and sculpture), whose focus is to show China and the world their portrayal of our current world problems and how the artists imagine the ideal future.

Vrijmoet’s painting, Naked Snow Blower has been selected for exhibition. She is one of 16 American artists will be among the 261 artists exhibiting from 82 different countries. Vrijmoet will be traveling to Beijing for the opening in September and speaking at the symposium. Other American artists include Larry Poons, Sean Scully and Paul Pfeiffer, along with Thomas Daniel, Noah Daniel Smith Schenk, Elisabeth Condon, C. Michael Norton, Karen Gunderman, Laurin McCrackin, Peter Hiers, Xiaohong Zhang, Haydeh Sharifi Neyestanak, Carole Jeane Feuerman, and Jane Hammond. Some of the countries represented include Australia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iran, Japan, Senegal, Slovenia, Trinidad, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe

Vrijmoet’s Accident series features a single figure in the process of a horrific (and usually grotesquely bloody) accident. Her handling of the paint matches the situation’s goriness – melting bodies tossing explosive splatters of blood. Often, her subjects seem not yet to be aware of the violence they have perpetrated on themselves: The viewer plays the role of the witness much as he might watch a horror movie – completely aware of the violence and agony that awaits the victim’s realization.

Vrijmoet’s subject, however, is less the gore than the moment the gore marks: A moment of waking, of a new consciousness, of self-awareness. Her subject is trauma itself – the word coming from the German for “dream.” The accidents mark the rest of the victim’s life.

Of her work Vrijmoet says, “My paintings portray the acceptance of our present reality absent anxiety for the future, exposed by the model's expression, although the viewer may feel discomfort. The spiritual pursuit of releasing his egoic self enables the subject to fully embrace the present and to clearly see things as they are. Only when we embrace reality can we manifest our hopes and surpass our dreams.”

Vrijmoet’s artistic vision combines Pop Art (think Andy Warhol’s “Car Accident”) with the sublime (think Edmund Burke who in 1757 wrote “Astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror."

Vrijmoet received her MFA from Syracuse University. Her work has been shown in dozens of exhibitions around the country. In 2010 she won 3rd place in the II International Biennale of Painting in Ecuador. Her painting, Naked Snow Blower will be on exhibit at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing from September 28, 2012 through October 22, 2012.

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