David Lusk Gallery Nashville / 516 Hagan St., #100 October 3, 2023 - November 11, 2023

Anne Siems

In October 2023 at David Lusk Gallery Nashville, Anne Siems will show MEN, a new body of work featuring tattooed figures expressing the fluidity of masculinity and male identity.

Siems has been portraying tattooed figures for four years, inscribing bodies and faces with excerpts from poetry, mantras, imagery depicting rites of passage, and singular words to convey identity. Of these tattoos Siems says, “they are unapologetic and brave, political, even if not in a direct way. They are markers of the world we live in and this time that on so many levels feels right on the edge in many ways, both personal and general. They speak of shadow work, of exploring the dark sides of our psyche, but also of strength and hope.”

Choosing to paint men did not come naturally to Siems. In spite of painting young boys and girls wearing translucent Victorian clothing in earlier bodies of work, the older male body was an entirely new subject. She says, “I never had much interest in painting men. My last show “forced” me to paint male bodies as that show was portraying the sons (and daughters) of my friends. I was surprised how much I enjoyed painting these angular, muscular bodies, their sharp edges, protruding veins and hairiness. It felt natural to continue with the subject of painting an entire show of men.”

In this body of work, Siems employs acrylic on wood panel to paint much larger, full body images rich with texture and gloss. Elements of nature, androgynous or hyper feminine clothing, and delicate fine-line tattoos soften stern gazes, strong muscles, and abrasive poses. The inherent immediate attention and technique required of these media parallels Siems’ instinctual emotional responses to depicting her subjects and portraying their struggles. The subjects struggle with traditional societal expectations of men as expressions of gender and sexual identity are simultaneously challenged and celebrated.

Anne Siems was born and raised in Berlin and lives and works in Seattle. She attended the University of the South in Tennessee under a Fulbright Scholarship and completed her MFA at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin. Her work has been shown in a myriad of exhibitions in galleries and institutions in New York, Berlin, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles, among other cities. Her work can be found in collections spanning the globe, such has American Airlines, Seattle; The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock; Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID; Harry Connick, Jr; Hallmark Collection, Kansas City, MO; Kemper Museum for Contemporary Art & Design, Kansas City, MO; Lucy Liu; Microsoft, Redmond WA; Nestle USA, Glendale, CA; Nordstrom Corporation Stores, Seattle; and Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, among others. Siems’ is active in her studio and out, often working on multiple projects simultaneously. At any one time she is painting murals, leading workshops, and getting work together for her multiple galleries’ inventories and art fair booths.

David Lusk Gallery is located at 516 Hagan Street in Nashville. Gallery hours are Tu-Sa, 10-5. For more information or visuals please contact Lees Romano at 615-780-9990 or lees@davidluskgallery.com.