Notions of privacy and disclosure are at the core of my work. My figures deal with the reality of illness while balancing a thin line between expression and discretion. While these topics could be divisive, the use of color, humor, and childish aesthetic keeps my work welcoming. I am interested in the internal and external factors that compose one’s identity. My work presents a personal side of an ever-increasingly political issue through a girlish lens of soft aesthetics and sad whimsy.
Tonja Torgerson grew up on the edge of the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. She moved to the Minneapolis metro area in 2001 to attend school at the Perpich Center for Arts Education. In 2007 she received a BFA from the University of Minnesota. Her artwork is included the collections of the Weisman Art Museum and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. In 2009 she received a Jerome Foundation Fellowship for her residency in New York Mills, Minnesota and more recently she was an artist in residence on Fogo Island in Newfoundland.