Corinne Geertsen’s father was a psychologist who discussed his work daily at the dinner table – blow by blow insights into the human condition that seeped into her subconscious and altered her artistic eye. The Mesa artist mates vintage photos of family members with snapshots of animals and mechanical objects to create images that are innocent, intriguing, delightful and sometimes dark.
An exhibition of her compositions is on view through July at the Appaloosa Library in Scottsdale. According to Geertsen, the compositions use odd juxtapositions, non sequiturs and elements of surprise to conjure the surreal. In “Migration” a baby in a turn-of-the-century dress holds an owl while standing on a row boat strapped to a tortoise. “Game” shows a child playing rings with a rhino’s horns and tallying the score on the side of the animal’s skin.
Geertsen, 58, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Montana, where she developed a childhood appetite for art. She attended Brigham Young University and graduated with a master’s degree in drawing and painting. A few years ago, Geertsen took a digital Photoshop class, which led to her affinity for fusing antique and modern images.
“My pictures are quirky visual narratives about psychological situations,” she says. “They pull a lot of subconscious strings. Life can sometimes be dark, and my pictures reflect that.” Her work is in permanent collections at Arizona State University, the Mesa Arts Center and Mesa Community College. For more information, visit corinnegeertsen.com
– Dolores Tropiano