Heidi Neff was raised in the Chicago area and has lived in eight states. She earned her MFA in painting from the University of Iowa in 2002 and her BFA in painting from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1994. Since then, she has exhibited in alternative spaces in New York City and across the country. Heidi Neff currently teaches painting and drawing at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland.
For more information, please download the artist resume: resume092809.pdf
My search for meaning and passion in life inspires and informs my work. The result is personal, socially relevant and sincere, yet often very funny.
While this search has always inspired my work, it is increasingly hard for me to know what I am supposed to care about. Sources such as CNN breaking news constantly send us celebrity gossip alongside reminders that people are dying in wars and natural disasters. Britney Spears’ latest breakdown gets equal weight as a tsunami that killed over 170,000 people. I seek to explore and reflect on this conundrum.
I use images such as helicopters and airplanes as metaphors for rescue and the divine. Newspaper articles and headlines act as markers of human need, often reminders of people dying in wars and natural disasters. Writhing figures on church ceilings embody at least two types of ecstasy and passion. To-do lists and diaristic drawings of uneventful days often crop up in my work, referencing apathy and the mundane.
I use various painting and drawing languages as an embodiment of my search for meaning in an oversaturated overexposed world. I employ traditional methods such as underpainting and Trompe l’oeil alongside expressionistic mark-making and “bad painting” methods. I am interested in the relationship between high art and low art as it compares to the relationship between the spiritual and the physical.
My work is not about a destination, but about a process. It is hopeful in that it shows a continued search against all odds.
Downloadable artist's statement: artiststatement.pdf