Collection exhibition ReseT, Second prize. Photo: Tussen kunst en kitsch, opname belvedère Heerenveen
Annemarie Busschers (1970) lives and works in The Netherlands.
She received her formal training at the Academie Minerva, the Fine Arts Academy at Hanze University Groningen in art and graphic techniques.
Busschers’ search and finds of her subjects are not random. She chooses just as her personal life develops. She started making portraits after the birth of her son, and after that she focused on children of friends and acquaintances. She kept focussing on the skin though. Later she involved grown-ups as well in her work. In these ‘mature’ works, special features acquired during life, started to emerge and were elaborated on in her paintings. Again she demonstrated her own fascination with skin. The textures and shades, irregularities, birthmarks, scars and imperfections are all replicated in unabashed detail.
She takes photographs of her models and studies the photographs in painstaking detail. After that, she starts to ‘construct’ the face anew. They are painted, but they are also constructed in layers. Busschers' portraits are built of a variety of materials: acrylic paint, pencil, pastel, epoxy, wood, wax, paper, felt and even linen on the canvas. The result is far more powerful and textured than a portrait of mere pencil or paint or pastels on canvas or paper. Her works emerge like scientific, almost minute studies. Therefore, she only works in big formats.
The received appreciation resulted into a shift towards, as one might say, working on commission: portraying more or less famous persons. After some time, Busschers concluded that person and status hindered the creation of a portrait.
"The art of portraying has its roots in showing important people, fondling their egos by making them more beautiful than they really are, as an accepted modus.
Externalities are not being shown prettier as they really are. But still, regarding portraying kings and important people, not much has changed since Goya’s days, we still focus on the ego and status."
Historically, portraiture has been subject to working on commission, status and expectations of the portrayed. Independency, which Busschers regards for as a prerequisite, was jeopardized. Therefore, after a few years, she chose again for the anonymous portraits in which she autonomously could use faces for her work.
Ultimately, she portrayed herself. In a difficult, emotional period, she could do nothing else, but painting her own feelings, emotions and frame of mind on the canvas. That resulted in some very moving paintings.
Until recently, Busschers worked again with, for the public, unknown faces. However the stories, illnesses or abnormalities that accompany these people, are important and form an essential part of her fascination. She doesn’t overdraw though. Her skills vary in these works: quick, accurate yet again punctilious and multi-layered. Whatever the portrait needs, she uses her great mastering of skills in a broad variety of techniques.
Nowadays, Busschers discovered a new subtheme in her portraits: making portraits as objects, by reconstructing study materials towards a living face.
"Society demands everybody to behave and look in a way that is regarded as ‘normal’. So physical deficiencies are being cut away by plastic surgeons and mental imperfections by psychiatrists. This behaviour denies the real person that lies beneath.
In my portrait work, initially I focused on the skin, later I moved on to ego and mental and finally on psychological imperfections. Nowadays I study physical deformations, in which the prosthesis-industry is trying to give people an indistinct (normal) life.
My models consist of patients, but also of people in my direct proximity. In some cases the sensitive private information demands
an anonymisation of the person involved. Therefore, but even in general, I characterize my portraits as ‘nameless icons’. I do not wish to hurt or harm these persons, but instead focus on the unique strength of the portrayed trying to be himself or herself."
1970 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Academie Minerva, the Fine Arts Academy at Hanze University Groningen,
Art and graphic techniques. 1991- 1996
2013 Museum Belvedere, Heerenveen. Collection exhibition ReseT, Second prize
2013 Nomination Wessel Gansfortprize, Groningen
2003 Participation Koninklijke prijs voor de Vrije Schilderkunst, Amsterdam (2th round)
2005 Selected for exhibition BP Award 2005, National Portrait Gallery, London
2006 Selected for exhibition BP Award 2006, National Portrait Gallery, London
2006 Egberts prize 2007, Groningen, first prize
2008 Selected for exhibition BP Award 2008, National Portrait Gallery, London
Medical center, Groningen 2003
Mural Painting 'Fivelingo' Appingedam 2006
Mural Painting, Stichting limor, Veendam 2011
For Infinity: 400 Years of Science 2014