FUTURE VISIONS: Chloe Mosbacher: Wake Up Call

June 16 – August 5, 2018

Reception: June 23, 4-6 PM


Chloe Mosbacher explores themes of identity, political commentary and Bildungsroman, or “coming of age” by juxtaposing contemporary figuration with historical allusions and classical symbols in acrylic paint, oil paint, wax, and mixed media.


Growing up in a decade ruled by political chaos inspired my emotionally and politically charged body of work: “Wake up Call.” The [growing] set of [majority large scale] paintings reflect my attitudes on the transition from nature to machine, western corruption and self identity within society. More specifically, I explore themes of patriarchy, attachment, purpose, conformity, censorship, retaliation and authority. The series also mimics the cyclical formula expressed in the “Major Arcana” cards in the tarot deck. Each card follows the “fool’s journey,” in which one gains knowledge through encountering specific social and spiritual archetypes until death and rebirth ensue.

Each piece features intended symbolism, with the most obvious being the mask. Contrary to its playful origin [derived from the Venetian carnival character Zanni], it is re-purposed to represent a more sinister individual. With his visage being obscured, the mask wearer is assured a sense of anonymity and community; as if belonging to a secret society or cult. He embodies the patriarchy, capitalism and institution. Other symbols allude to historical events including the suffragette riots, 9/11 and the Holocaust, whereas some symbols are more contemporary. For instance, I used photographs from anti-Trump rallies, the women’s march and those of Trump Tower’s assault-weapon-armed security guards.

Each composition is first conceived in Photoshop through a process of digital collage using personal reference photos. The composition study becomes a catalyst for the piece, but is abandoned in the later stages. The digital collage highlights surreal elements of image transparency and fracture influenced by contemporary realist, Justin Mortimer. Intensity is created through dynamic surface textures [some influenced by Gerhard Richter’s abstract paintings], dramatic lighting, glow and the contrast of near-neutrals with high saturation.

I aspire to create an experience for the viewer and strive to spread healthy questioning, political discussion and conversation about identity. In the future, I dream to work on a larger scale to combine public outreach, art and mindfulness.


“Chloe Mosbacher possesses a unique creative vision and an unparalleled passion for art making. There is no better way to understand Chloe’s passion than to look through her sketchbooks and body of work. She wearies the pages with pencil, glue, cyanotypes, collage, paint, thread, beeswax and pastel as she studies and explores concepts in her preparation to create her next piece. Good enough never is good enough for Chloe. I have watched her scrape off the most developed area of a painting in order to improve the overall whole. No detail is too small, no brush stroke is insignificant. She spends countless hours in the pursuit of her art.

Her work challenges us as recipients of its message and images to consider the world around us. To open our eyes and to feel the turmoil while experiencing it at a deeper and more personal level than cameras can capture.

Although this current body of work is nothing short of amazing, it pales in comparison to what I know she will create in the years to come.”

— Todd Poteet, Director of Visual Arts & The Art Institute, Poughkeepsie, NY

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