I explore the paradoxical interaction of human nature and the natural world. We live within and are dependent on nature, yet because of our “nature” as investigators, inventors, builders, and molders of our environment, we degrade it. Radiant cities offering beauty, creativity, entertainment and opportunity, also emit blight and waste. Digital realms allow illusions of floating free of earth,and other creatures, yet we still seek feelings of awe, soothing, and primal connectedness we find in nature.
My work invites viewers to feel both realities – the sublime and the degraded – as they occur in our present moment. I draw my inspiration from natural patterns and objects, as well as cities. Artists like Bruegel, Turner, Mark Bradford, William Kentridge and Anselm Kiefer inspire me because they embed human structures in landscape to make us deeply feel the often tragic, sometimes joyful, contradiction of our nature within the environment. I would like viewers of my paintings to be drawn in by beauty to contemplate what is appealing and disquieting within.
Janet Bogardus is a San Francisco Bay Area painter and mixed-media artist. Since 1989, she has exhibited her work at a variety of venues in California and New York, including solo exhibitions at Manna Gallery in Oakland, Benicia Arts Presents, Contra Costa College, and Marin Museum of Contemporary Art.
Born in Montreal, she spent her early life in many different countries, including Czechoslovakia, Algeria, Canada, Germany, Viet Nam and France. Living in a variety of environments and cultures has attuned her to the ways landscape and history intertwine, a focus which can be seen in all her work.
In 1990, she received an MFA from San Francisco State University with a concentration on printmaking and artist books. She has taught art at various SF Bay Area locations.
Her work can be viewed by appointment at her studio in Novato or at: www.janetbogardus.net