Tessa Edgren, b. 1995, is a Colorado native currently studying painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).
Tessa Edgren creates characters in her work that allow her to portray the confusing interaction between religion and sexuality. The young twins around which much of her work revolves are a study of the over-sexualization of young girls and the fetishization of religiousness and purity in those same girls. These same intersecting issues have created a subculture—or sisterhood—of “sad girls,” young women who grew up in religious households, suppressed and oppressed by the virgin ideal. These characters act out Tessa’s fantasies and fears, especially those centered around sex, purity, and death. Although the twins are young, in some of the work Tessa uses that age to enhance the anxiety around preparing for death.