Emily earned a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and an MFA from San Diego State University, where her work received the Presidential Purchase Award, the Arts and Letters Deans Purchase Prize, the Liberty Station Fellowship and other accolades. She currently lives at the Brewery Artist Community in Los Angeles. Her paintings and assemblages have been shown in New York, Los Angeles and Canada.
Emily Elisa Halpern’s work reflects a disjointed sense of unease in an unpredictable world. Strong undercurrents of emotion combine with murky narratives of danger, loss and destruction. Her paintings are constructed with bold lines and flattened shapes in pared-down compositions. Ambiguous spaces filled with idiosyncratic forms populate the work and act as a surrogate for the self. Rough, gritty and meaty surface qualities express her need to be direct and are achieved by applying thick layers of paint in a blunt mark. Her creative process is directed but improvisational, incorporating the use of intentional and accidental mark making. Halpern aspires to create work that deepens our understanding of the ways in which certain personal meanings reflect the complex matrix of universally shared emotions.