Christina Bartsch


Artist Statement

I am a printmaker and will always be a printmaker. I was drawn to printmaking because of my love for perfection, but I have stuck with it for the mystery and uncertainty that an etched plate brings. It is like food at a church potluck, you’re never sure what it is until you try it, or in this case, print it.

My work is about socialization of children. Socialization is defined as the process involved when young children are becoming aware of society and learning how they are expected to behave. Through interactions, the child learns boundaries, expectations, and social standing. In my work, the child is referenced in the use of simple shapes, while the adult structural role is shown by the use of diagrams.

As I continue to work with this ideal of socialization, I am drawn to the ideal of a child becoming conscious, or lack there of, of the adult’s role in there life, to provide structure and support, and the reality of the world around them. I can remember as a very young child wanting to find the perfection of the world even though it was and always will be unachievable. My work is more and more lending back to the time when one has yet to learned common sense, before you know the simple facts of life.

Visually, I enjoy working in structured formats, like dividing the space in thirds and primarily using the upper two. I choose to have very graphically drawn objects beside organic, imaginary space. Bold lines around the form help to make my pieces flat with very little perception of depth, much like a coloring book. I also like the idea of presenting something that may be dangerous. The danger is presented so that it is physical, but it references a psychological threat. Like the first time you realize that your parents lie. Yet, color displaces the tension.

I really enjoy using color in my work. My color choices have been deeply influenced by Baroque art. I enjoy the work of contemporary artists Louise Bourgeois and Tanja Softic. I love the dynamic nature of their work, with beautiful lines and texture and shapes. Louise Bourgeois work revisits her childhood, mirroring my work. I also love the playfulness of Angie Reed Garner’s work, a local Louisville artist.