Andrea Bersaglieri, te(r)ra desideratum at Shoebox Projects

Andrea Bersaglieri

May 27 to June 16
Reception June 16, 3-6pm

Shoebox Projects
660 South Avenue 21 #3
LA Ca 90031

te(r)ra desideratum

We have a predetermined aesthetic preference for nature. It is an evolutionary remnant. It helped preserve our species. As a resident of the heart of the Los Angeles suburbs, the context in which I experience nature seems to amplify its importance. The mundane frameworks within which nature manages to exists here concentrates its beauty and power; I can’t take my eyes off of it.

I’m using the term “nature” loosely here. The trees, the shrubs and grasses, were nearly all planted here by someone in an attempt to simulate the ideal savannah. We know that, but their presence still stirs our ingrained unshakable appreciation of the aesthetic. They have become our “substitute nature”.

This formal, conceptual, emotional relationship between urbanites and nature is fraught with contradictions. These contradictions are the source for my work. The visual contrast, obviously, but also conceptual entanglements: It is in our nature to find plants beautiful but our evolution is literally squeezing them out of our environment and won’t this evolution eventually make them obsolete? Will nature’s tenaciousness prevail? Which plants will thrive around us as the environment struggles? Will the plants that we now consider weeds become our new cultivars? How does the dirt beneath us feed into and contain these dichotomies?

I look to my immediate surroundings in urban/suburban Los Angeles as the source for my investigation. Going from tree to plant to weed to soil looking for, looking at, trying to understand. I use traditional observational drawing methods in an effort to record this evolution and understand it.

Andrea Bersaglieri was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area and came to Southern California to attend California State University, Long Beach where she earned an MFA in Drawing and Painting in 1991. She has lived, worked and studied in Florence, Rome, and Philadelphia. Andrea teaches Drawing and Painting at Cerritos College and California State University, Long Beach. Her most recent work deals with our earnest, often misguided attempt to encourage, yet control nature in suburban Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.

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