Bri Wenke is a Charleston based painter and installation artist who creates expressive figurative work with a deliberate blend of soft and crude realism. Having earned a history and anthropology degree from the University of Connecticut, her work is inspired by deconstruction, contrast, and a fascination with the antiquity and complexity of the human story.She has collaborated in large immersive projects such as “Consumption” and "A.I. vs Art" and exhibited a live installation for The Entrepreneur’s Organization East Coast Conference. Wenke's work can be found in private collections around the globe, and is exhibited in Charleston, SC at the Grand Bohemian Gallery. Additional features and collaborations include Charleston Living Magazine, Art Market International Magazine, YETI, Entrepreneurs Org, Exxpedition, and Yelp. Bri received the 2021 Lowcountry Arts Grant.
There are thousands of nerve endings in our skin. Adaptations to help us navigate the infinite world of sensory input; the heat, the sharp, the cold, the soft.The skin is where we feel everything. When the air shifts, when we long for touch, when we feel an embrace, when a silent threat is nearby, when the fire is warm, when the ice burns, when shame is acidic, when we feel a fleeting piece of a better whole, and just before a storm hits and the weight drops.I'm utilizing the vocabulary I have painstakingly built over the last decade n my studio, and attempting to tell my story, in the most intimate way.The work is a confrontation of the self, of the inner chaos and incessant chatter that threatens to dissolve our strength and sanity. To remain on autopilot, to feel anxiety so distinctly in the body because the mind won’t make the time. To take a sober look at what the internal landscape feels like, holding up a black mirror, so to speak, but not without an undertone of humility. A story that I hope sheds light for others, one that evokes rawness, honesty, ownership, and empowerment. I'm painting what I've seen, but more importantly, what I've felt in my chest and in my skin, in an instant, over a lifetime.