Corinne  Geertsen
Corinne Geertsen grew up on the plains of Montana. She developed a rich inner life and an affinity for strong horizon lines and big skies. She always drew.

Her father was a psychologist. Psychologists at that time would often show someone a set of dramatic pictures and ask them to make up a story about each picture. Geertsen spent a lot of time with the picture plates of her father’s tests, fascinated by the ties between stories and images. As a result, she moves easily between story line and image and back again as she works, nuancing her work with psychological twists.

She has always enjoyed animals, which are often central to the design and content of her work. At the age of seven, she dragged a horse home and put him in the backyard, in case he was lost.

Geertsen had beginnings in science with several student research grants from the American Cancer Society involving genetic mapping. Her brother, who became a particle physicist, made a space capsule for her hamsters and planned to send them to the moon from a drive-in movie screen structure near their home.

She grew up with psychology and science. Her pictures are full of contraptions, mechanisms, personalities and plight.

She studied drawing and painting at Brigham Young University where she acquired a B.A. and an M.F.A. in drawing and painting. Photoshop and digital art did not yet exist.

She and her husband moved to Arizona in 1980, where she continued her love of landscape from the back of a good trail horse.

Much later she took a Photoshop course to restore old family photos. Two weeks into the class she began seeing her ancestors as characters in dramas. “Photoshop matches the way I think,” she says. “When I first found Photoshop, I felt I had discovered the other half of the map.” Working digitally dovetails nicely with the way her mind works. She often paints a necessary object, photographs it and digitally adds it into a work.

Her work spans more than a century and a half of technology. She uses Civil War and Victorian era studio portraits as source material, yet she works digitally on a computer with massive memory, deep within the technical intricacies of Photoshop. She enjoys the contrast and challenges of working with multiple technologies.

She works from her ever growing collection of 45,000 old photos and photos she takes herself. They include scans of photos she took in the 1970’s, photos from the 3 years she lived in Denmark, as well as photos her genealogist husband unearths.

Artist Statement:
I assemble my works digitally from photos of my ancestors (making occasional ancestor adoptions at thrift stores) and from my expanding archive of over 45,000 photos.

It’s all about remix.

I’m on a constant photographic scavenger hunt, outfitting ancestors with backdrops, sidekicks and belongings.

I print my work myself in small editions on archival photo paper with pigment inks.

My images are quirky visual narratives about psychological predicaments. I especially like a good plight.

My art leans toward surrealism, as it has odd juxtapositions, non-sequiturs, and an element of surprise.

My work content mirrors personal, political and global situations – in a sly way.

My work is a packrat’s nest of things that are deeply a part of being alive: curiosity, humor, fear, rescue, individuality, absurdity.

Arizona State University / B-K Medical, Herlev, Denmark
Brigham Young University, L. Tom Perry Special Collections
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
City of Phoenix / City of Tempe
Mesa Arts Center / Mesa Community College / Scottsdale Public Arts


2018 Corinne Geertsen, Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT

2016 The Footnote Chronicles, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa AZ
History: What Happens When You’re Not Looking, Tempe History Museum, Tempe AZ

2015 Corinne Geertsen, Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City UT

2014 Beyond Memory, Springville Museum of Art, Springville UT

Freudian Trip, Kimball Art Center, Park City UT
Corinne Geertsen, Appaloosa Library, Scottsdale AZ
Corinne Geertsen, Scottsdale Public Arts, Scottsdale AZ

Psychological Sophistication and Quirk, Vision Gallery, Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler AZ
Parlor Games, After Hours Gallery, Phoenix AZ

Psychological Sightseeing, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa AZ
Geertsen at the Olney, Cathedral Center for the Arts, Phoenix AZ
Corinne Geertsen, Arizona State University Polytechnic, Mesa, AZ
Corinne Geertsen, Mesa Community College, Mesa AZ

Psychological Images of Sophistication and Quirk, @Central Gallery, Burton Barr Public Library, Phoenix AZGeertsen currently lives and works in Mesa, Arizona. We are pleased to represent Corinne Geertsen exclusively in Santa Fe, NM at POP Gallery. Please contact is directly for availability and high res images at 505.820.0788 or email
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