Amanda Boerger is Californian by birth and South Dakotan by upbringing. She possesses a bachelor's degree in French Studies and Studio Arts from South Dakota State University as well as two respective certificates in Modern & Contemporary Art History and Printmaking. Having graduated in 2015, Boerger spent eight months in 2016 working as an assistant language instructor in the French Riviera.
I love the complexities of being a human! In a nutshell, my work vacillates between: (1) analytical analysis of the human condition, and (2) joyously basking in its beauty. I’m very fascinated by psychology, identity, and consumerism. I find myself preoccupied with understanding how people compose their identity through their role, the clothes they wear, the company they keep, their environment, the items they consume, et cetera. Though I do maintain a Proustian appreciation for the beauty in the everyday, my works often possess an undercurrent of skepticism regarding the present social landscape.
Collage is a constant element to my work and, because I most often incorporate vintage Better Homes and Gardens magazines, I see a lot of marketing ploys pitching an ideal "American Dream". I think the period in time from which a majority of my favorite clippings hail (the 1950’s) is an incredibly interesting period in American history in terms of post-war excess, as exemplified by the perfectly composed wardrobes and the elaborate salad and jello arrangements. In contemporary times, marketing continues to promote ideal people, homes, and meals. Many people measure themselves against these standards and are subsequently motivated to spend beyond their means and to partake in a disposable lifestyle that is harmful, unsustainable, and often unsatisfying. (See "Dysfunctional Dollhouse" and "Subterranean Subtext : A Subservient Civilization Rooted in Excess")
Like my collage work, my portrait practice aims to explore and communicate a comparison between identity and consumption but, it also intends to celebrate individuality! From working with children, I see how people come into the world as themselves, but from there they are continually shaped by outside forces and perspectives, ie, institutions, parents, peers, and marketing . My portraits are often set in intentionally busy environments to depict some of those influences, and to let surrounding objects tell a history of my subject's lives. (See "Hotel MJ" and "Hard Softshell Crab") Recently, I’ve been selecting people from my community and creating life-size portraits out of acrylic paint and fabric collage on un-primed, un-stretched canvas. I want my viewers to feel like they’re getting to know my subjects, which is why I work in such a large scale and why I hang these bare with open edges. (See "Juke the Tiger" and "Doubting MJ")
As a intersection between my magazine collage and portrait pursuits, my acrylic paint collages often depict scenes of everyday life, ie, eating breakfast, washing dishes, et cetera. (See "Still Life with Avocado Toast" and "27 Grapes") As I've chosen to mainly refrain from depicting actual human figures in this body of work, these collages work as sort of absentee portraits, where subject's activities and surroundings tell their story. My process for these includes loosely painting swatches of paper, cutting shapes, and then juxtaposing and adhering these shapes.