Emerald Whipple was born in 1989 in California and grew up in Kauai, Hawaii where she learned the trade of jewelry production and design from her mother and father.
In 2003 she moved back to California with her parents where she worked in Ojai, CA as a gallery assistant and Jewelry Design assistant with her father. In 2008 she moved to New York to study at Pratt on scholarship for her BFA in Painting, upon arriving to New York she changed her major to fashion design in her first semester.
Since the early 2000’s, Whipple has used a varied practice of sculpture, painting and drawing to explore the elaborate, philosophical relationship between the concept of reality, life and time. Whipple's work investigates and challenges contemporary mass to be isolated within the self and to therefore be influenced by the soul. It examines the relationship of time as a temporary and uncertainty through each individual experience; reality as a projection of a dream.
Whipple developed her interest in exploring the philosophy of life and psychology the dream as a teenager in California. From the age of thirteen, she made regular visits to sacred sites, temples, monasteries, and churches, to study people's rituals and beliefs. The experiences served to establish an understanding of belief systems, coping and how we separate ourselves, yet how we cling to the same ideas, regardless of background. Whipple also met with different therapists who specialized in Chrystal healing, music therapy, hypnosis and astral projection, to discuss observed experiences and the discussion of lucidity!
At Pratt, Whipple abandoned fine art in the classical sense to apply the idea and technique of sculpture to Fashion Design. In 2009 she began an internship at Marc Jacobs in shoe design which opened many doors and experiences into the industry. In 2010 she was introduced to Dylan Forsberg, a fashion photographer by a group of mutual friends. At this time she also met an artist in residence program Lotte Van Den Audenaeren, in New York from Brussels.
For the next two years Whipple continued to explore elements of the fashion industry, including both the creative and business side. Whipple was successful in fashion Styling in both runway and editorial spreads for publications, as well as a focus in jewelry & accessory design and production for a variety of companies.
In 2013 Whipple began work on a a series of paintings which were, abstract at first glance, close up shots of moss on rocks. She also practiced her photorealism on large scale paintings of her friends, including Hanne GabyOdielle, as a natural fashion editorial. These were submitted to Jan Dhaese, a gallery owner in Gent, Belgium, who Whipple met through Lotte Van DenAudenaeren. Jan Dhaese offered her a solo show in 2015 as well as Galerie representation. Around the same time Dylan Forsberg, who had also seen her latest work offered Whipple an opportunity to contribute a series of portrait paintings to his latest issue of Transmission Magazine, an annual compilation of images and concepts curated by Forsberg from his work as well as a select group of his contemporaries. Whipple is now a contributing art editor for Transmission magazine.
Through 2013 Whipple began refining her skills of portraiture, using photographs of her own and photographs taken by Forsberg of their mutual friends who model and work in the fashion industry. The ability to disconnect from our mind to truly appreciate natural beauty is overwhelmingly encouraged by the paintings. Whipple begins to find her voice she captures the innocence, freedom and beauty of youth through the preservation of time in comparison to abstract close ups of nature.
"All life is a dream, not because it is not there but because we all project different meanings upon what it is". To the artist, all that we experience is subjective as there is no sensation without interpretation. Consequently we create the world and ourselves making everything relative because as an individual we are condemned to our own perspective from our point in life. This is one of his most eternal themes, and is clearly represented by Whipple's first solo exhibition "Natural High" in New York at curatorBrion Isaacs Rivington Design House.
Her paintings are a representation of sanctuary, the precious stillness and peace of tranquility within the turbulence of the world. Since all we know is interpreted, filtered, analyzed from experience or data, then it is only when we disconnect the mind from interpretation do we see the natural beauty. The quest she sets the viewer on is to disengage from the self to see the whole.
Although modern in interpretation of subject, the execution echoes the early 20th Century Impressionist Movement. The brush strokes are linear and controlled to a degree of pointillism, both in portraiture and abstracted landscape. The commingling of dots manifesting into strokes woven together reflect the modern media of digital photography distorted by pixel which ultimately compile the image as a whole. The viewer is forced to study the work from afar allowing the eye to naturally create the image because when immediately engaged the image is tangled and out of focus.
Whipple lives and works in New York, NY and continues to travel home to Ojai, CA to draw inspiration.