Nadia Plesner (born 1981 in Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish artist and writer. She graduated in Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam in 2012. Plesner is a member of BKF (Danish Visual Artists), the artist group Emergency Room and the artist association VISUEL.
During the last decade Plesner has focused on the disappearing boundaries between the editorial and advertising departments in mass media. She is widely known for her drawing Simple Living, in which she portrayed a Darfurian child holding a small dog and a caricature of a designer bag with the intention of denouncing the way in which the Western media was reporting the genocide occurring in Darfur.
Simple Living was printed on t-shirts and posters in 2007 and sold to raise money for the organization Divest for Darfur. Later on Simple Living became an integral part of Plesner’s paraphrase of Guernica: the painting Darfurnica. Being displeased with the drawn/painted bag on both works, Louis Vuitton sued Plesner in 2008 and 2011 and got Simple Living and Darfurnica banned. In 2011 Plesner countersued Louis Vuitton in order to win back her right to exhibit both works. In 2011 in the Hague, after a long and costly legal battle, The European Court of Justice rejected Vuitton’s arguments and annulled the accumulated penalties of 485.000 €. The final verdict now sets precedent in similar cases.
In Plesner’s work the physical and virtual reality melts together and invites the viewer into a universe of painting, drawing, mosaic, sculpture and installation. Since the advertisement industry is an unavoidable part of both mass media and social media, it is often referred to in Plesner’s work – either by theme or aesthetics. This ties all her pieces together, since they despite their various materials share a visual language which mimics the language and imagery of advertisement.
Plesner finds inspiration in the massive wave of digital images we are exposed to constantly through mass media and social media. The digital screen has become our window to the world by means of which we mirror ourselves, not only in our nearest circle but in millions of people. Plesner explores the role of humanity in a digital society, where we can swipe through everything: from war and destruction to potential sex partners, food and products.
Plesner teaches drawing at Thorvaldsen’s Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark. She has given talks or lectures about her work at places like the United Nations in Geneva, Trapholt Museum in Denmark, Heart Museum in Denmark, Arken Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, The Royal Theatre in Denmark, Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany, ArtEZ Institute of the Art in The Netherlands, De Balie in The Netherlands as well as numerous high schools and colleges.
Plesner’s work is a part of the permanent collections of Trapholt Museum, Denmark, Modemuseum Hasselt, Belgium and Herning High School, Denmark.
Cosmopolitan’s Provocateur Of The Year award (2008), Oxcar award (2011), Nomination for the JCI Ten Outstanding Young People’s award (2011)