Elke Behrens


Elke Behrens’ paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Bay Area, Santa Fe, Germany, Switzerland and Singapore galleries. Behrens has studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of Arts and Crafts and the Cecil Graves Studio in Florence, Italy. Her work is internationally recognized and has been purchased by collectors from 17 states and 8 countries worldwide. Some of her collectors include The Honorable George Seymore from Canada/Singapore, Thomas Horn, former President of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, and Sultan Hassanal of Brunei. Her work can currently be viewed at the 4th Street Studio in Berkeley, CA, the MOMA Artist Gallery in San Francisco and the Fine Eye Gallery in Sutter Creek, CA.


My love of painting has taken me to many corners of the world where the artistic histories have inspired me in my art. These experiences have helped me to construct my “weltanschauung”, or world philosophy, which has guided my artistic sensibility. Born in Hamburg, Germany, I came to the United States at the age of thirteen. After having spent many years in New England I later moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I now live. I turned to painting after suffering several significant personal losses. Since then I have worked prolifically and diligently, rarely spending a day without painting. Channeled by my strong motivation and dedication, I aspire to create whimsical images that offer a balance of child-like simplicity with contrasting depth. My paintings and images are densely layered and covered with a mesh of vivid colors and graffitied or scratched images. The inspiration for my work stems from masters, such as Basquiat, Dubuffet and Klimt, and of course, the simplest artistic creations of children.