Brenda Oelbaum Biography

Brenda Oelbaum holds a BFA equivalent from the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, Canada; she studied painting in Florence, Italy under the direction of the late Aba Bayefski and received her MA in Gallery Administration from the State University of New York, F.I.T campus. She has worked with such prominent art dealers as Rosa Esman, and Gracie Mansion in NYC. She is currently the Michigan representative for the Feminist Art Project, and the Vice President of the Midwest Region for the National Women’s Caucus for Art as well as the foundational President of the Michigan Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art. Although a classically trained painter Oelbaum currently works in mixed media, “I work in what ever medium best supports my message. I consider myself a Feminist Activist Artist.”

Photography plays a big role in Oelbaum’s work, as reference material, inspiration, and as documentation of her installation and performance art not unlike the work of Joanna Frueh. Like Frueh she enlists the work of other photographers, and with her direction they help her complete her vision. In works such as “Does This Make My Dick Look Big” an installation of discarded random plates with photo transfers of images appropriated from people’s social networking sites she creates a humorous dialogue on the culture of “man” in her search for new ways to reverse the gaze.

She is currently working on a large scale installation which is both a physical and visual attack and commentary on the US government’s supposed “War on Obesity” and the multi-billion dollar diet industry. She wrote for her thesis on the artist May Wilson: 1905-1986 A Catalogue for the May Wilson Study Collection. Over the years, Oelbaum has amassed quite a collection of art. She feels a significant way to support women in the arts is to focus her collecting on them. Her work has appeared in the book "Art in the Age of Terrorism" Edited by Graham Coulter-Smith and Maurice Owen. She received mention in the June and July 2007 issue of Art in America for her work in the show "What F Word" Curated by Carol Cole at the Cynthia Broan Gallery in New York City. An essay entitled "The Venus of Willendorf Project", about her most recent work is in publication. It can be found in a book called "Collecting and the Internet: The Pursuit of Old Passions Through the Use of New Technologies" edited by Susan Koppelman and Alison Franks

Brenda Oelbaum
Midwest Region, Vice-President, WCA

President, Michigan Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art
group e-mail feminist-art-project-michigan@yahoogroups.com
WCA MI Blog: http://miwca.wordpress.com
National website http://www.nationalwca.org
(734) 645-9024
Regional Coordinator for the Feminist Art Project-Michigan

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