I am an imposter. Like all adopted children I have lived a lie. I have pretended that I come from somewhere, that I am like everyone else, but I come from no where. I am no one. Perhaps a stand-in replacement for the unborn natural child my adopted parents were unable to conceive. If that child was natural, then what am I? Unnatural. But unlike Pinocchio, I know I will never be a “real girl”. I stand alone, with no past, no history, no story. And always looming in the far reaches of my mind is that faceless woman. The Mother. The Ghost. But one cannot focus on that loss, on that abandonment, that primal wound. One must be grateful, and I am. I love my parents. People who were already old when they found me. People whose heyday was in the fifties and sixties. Perhaps that is where my fascination with the mid-century comes from. The faceless ghost-mother wears the vintage clothes of my adopted mother. I cannot walk in her shoes, her shoes are empty. The adopted child can never grow up, because who has ever heard of an adopted adult?
I start with photos because photos are the past. Not the real past, just a representation of it. A pretend past. Some of the photos I have taken myself, most were “found”. Just as I am a foundling. It’s called Appropriation: "the use of borrowed elements in the creation of a new work.” I am an appropriated person. My life was borrowed from that unborn child. I take what I have found and then I use the methods I have learned to make them mine. But are they mine? If I am nothing, then I have nothing. This is virtual art. It can exist in reality if I print it out, but even then it is just a facsimile. There is no original. The original never really existed.
These pieces were made using the iPad and an application called “Layers”. I love to use technology. I love to make copies. I make my living creating art for the internet. Most of my work exists only in the ether of the web. When new technology comes along it will all be obsolete and no one will ever be able to access it again.
Anita Drieseberg has been living and working in the Castro region of San Francisco for 21 years. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she earned a BFA from York University and did a year of graduate studies at Dundas Valley School of Art, then trained in animation at Sheridan College before moving to San Francisco for a sweet job creating children’s cd roms of titles like Cat in the Hat, Blues Clues and Arthur. Over the years she’s held some prestigious positions such as Senior Art Director at Egreetings and Lead Artist on Ellen’s Know or Go game, most recently she was Senior Character Animator on The Simpsons Tapped Out. She was the recipient of a large grant from The Canada Council for the Arts to make a short animated film “The Old Flame”, and her animated website MissArtypants garnered several awards and prizes, including an honorable mention from The Webby Awards. But all the while she continued to make and show fine art around the country and in Toronto, and for many years was a member of the CellSpace Artist Collective. After an injury left her incapacitated for several months, she discovered a way to make art on her couch with an iPad and that changed everything. Since then, Anita has created over a hundred digital pieces that have been received with what can only be described as glee! It is with great joy that she is finally having a solo showing of many of these pieces, along with some drawings and other surprises. Anita is also an accomplished stand up comedian, regularly performing at the San Francisco Punchline, Cobbs Comedy Club and SF Sketchfest. She is excited to be headlining a comedy showcase at Spark Arts on Wed July 26, during the the “Imposter” exhibition.