Zoe Beaudry (b. 1991) is a figurative oil painter based in Detroit, Michigan. Her practice examines existential questions related to selfhood, divinity, and individuation in the twenty-first century. Her work is informed by her research on contemporary mysticism and philosophy of mind, fourth-wave feminism, and her spiritual practice.
Her work has been included in exhibitions throughout the Midwest and internationally in the UK, Israel, and Australia, at venues including The Zhou B Art Center (Chicago), Chicago City Hall, Piano Nobile Kings Place (London), Mall Galleries (London), and The Glue Factory (Glasgow). She has held art workshops for youth in Tulkarem, Palestine, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 2019, Zoe was featured on Sky Portrait Artist of the Year on the Sky Arts Network.
Awards include a Beeler International Project Grant for her work in Haiti, first place in Exhibit Fine Art Center and Gallery's National Juried Competition in 2018, and the Northwood University Artist Award, awarded by the Midland Center for the Arts in 2019. In 2019 Zoe was featured on Sky Portrait Artist of the Year on the Sky Arts Network, and undertook a residency at Kriti Gallery in Varanasi, India. In fall of 2020, Zoe became a resident at The Forge in Detroit, Michigan.
Combining figuration with surreal elements which mimic digital effects, my painting practice closely examines the relationship between selfhood and the body in a contemporary context. I’m interested in the ways that embodied existence causes people to crave “connectedness” while simultaneously striving for individuation. I aim to recreate that tension in my work.
While online avatars and selfies allow for new forms of existential expression, raw corporeal existence is an unavoidable experience that demands consideration and care. Inspired by the teachings of Buddhism and the writing of modern spiritual thinkers like Caroline Myss and Byron Katie, I emphasize embodied presence as necessary for self-knowledge and represent the body as a potential site for revolution.
Rejecting the male-dominated history of the classical nude and the passive subject, the subjects in my paintings are a reclamation of the ability to self-define.