A sudden flash of bright, vivid eyes. A toss of exquisitely styled hair and chic, oversized sunglasses with a touch of Swarovski crystals. These are the timeless moments when we encounter high fashion, and artist Anja Van Herle has caught them all and more in her remarkable body of work mixing both classical and contemporary ideas of fashion.
Anja specializes in large-scale paintings featuring beautiful, idealized faces, often framed with elegant eyewear. “If the eyes are the window to the soul, then glasses are more than just an accessory; they’re an extension of one’s personality. The use of sunglasses in my work allows me to define my subjects and infuse each composition with a vibrant juxtaposition of color.”
Born in Belgium in 1969, Anja’s early interest in fashion design led her to a career in the arts. In 1987, she enrolled in Belgium’s prestigious Higher Institute for Art Education where she earned a Master’s of Fine Arts in Painting. In 2003, Anja relocated to Los Angeles, where she now concentrates on playful figurative paintings that combine a European sense of high fashion with an American sense of wonder.
As timelessly chic as Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Anja’s women are playfully sexy, and their expressions and eyes tell stories that go far beyond the simple exhibition of fine fashion. In Anja’s masterful hands, fashion becomes alive. “These women—they feel.”
Anja’s work currently hangs in galleries alongside Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Banksy & Basquiat. Additionally, she’s shown with Shepard Fairey, Retna, Damien Hirst, Chuck Close and Victoria’s Secret fashion photographer Russell James.