Sex, shrubs, and UFOs pretty much sums up the work of artist Andrea Heimer, who, in her own words, paints “the dark/weird/hidden sides of the suburban landscape.” Heimer creates small scale acrylic and pencil works on board that have the feel of Hindu miniature paintings in that they present detailed depictions of complicated narratives within a small space. (My graduate thesis focused on such Rajasthani miniatures, but that’s a whole other story.)
Andrea Heimer, who hails from Montana, did not go to art school. The scenes she paints are inspired by the strange events and relationships she witnessed in her own suburban neighborhood growing up. The images are cheerful, cheeky, and irreverent, showcasing the perverse side of suburbia. Many of the works’ titles are mini stories that help illuminate just what she’s drawing.
Heimer has shown her work around the country and abroad, including at the Outsider Art Fair in New York City last month. This summer her work will be exhibited at Shooting Gallery in San Francisco, Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York City, Hooloon Gallery in Philadelphia, and Anchor Art Space in Anacortes, Washington. For Fall, she has shows lined up at Linda Hodges Gallery in Seattle, and Yard Dog Gallery Austin.
Here are ten pieces of subversive suburban landscapes by Andrea Heimer.
“Betty Patton Lived Such A Solitary Life That She Welcomed Any Attention, Even That Of Thugs And Criminals”
“Interruption at the Intersection of Cherry and Birch Streets”
“A Dangerous Party Happened At The Bolands On Birch Street In 1998”
“On July 24, 1989, Attendees Of The Annual Johnson Pool Party Said They Saw Lights In The Sky Then Everyone Went Crazy”
“In The Summer Of 1989 Mr. McManus Cut Down A Rosebush That Was Growing Directly On The Border Between The McManus’s Back Yard And The Black’s Back Yard. The Resulting Donnybrook Was The Most Brutal Thing Us Kids Had Ever Seen In Real Life. Years Later I Figured Out The Fight Wasn’t Really About Roses.”
“Lilly Peterson’s Parents Were Members Of The Neighborhood Sunshine Cult So She Was Too. Boys Came From Far And Wide To Listen To Her Preach The Gospel But I Strongly Suspected They Were More Interested In What Was Under Her Pink Cloak.”
“Mr. Leland Had Served In The Military For A Time And When He Came Back My Parents Said He Was A Little Off. Everything Had To Be Perfect, From The Way The Lawn Was Cut To How Mrs. Leland Shaved Her Legs. He Almost Always Chewed Cinnamon Gum And We Were Terrified Of Him.”
“In 1987 A Group Of Cat Burglars Ransacked The Neighborhood Stealing Jewelry, Artwork, Panties, And Other Valuables. The Situation Turned Everyone’s Fathers Into Amateur Detectives But When Rumor Had It The Thieves Started Bringing Two Hyenas As Protection During The Robberies We Chose To Let Them Be. Eventually The Robberies Stopped.”
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