Charlotte Jane Oedekoven was born in Edmonton, Canada and moved to Munich, Germany as a child. Early on she demonstrated a stupendous talent for drawing and was directed to the Munich Academy of Art, executing her first oil painting as a 9 year old. The artist Franz Marc, member of the famous German Expressionist Group “Der Blaue Reiter” (The Blue Rider), was introduced to her at that time. Marc remains Charlotte`s favorite Artist and has influenced her work substantially in regards to color composition and portraying animals as main subjects. Furthering her interests in the Arts she enrolled in Art History and Philosphy at the University of Munich for 2 years. Subsequently she decided to take new educational direction and pursue a more practical approach, receiving a design degree, since she always indicated a strong pas- sion for architecture and interior design.
After completing a one year program in Duesseldorf for graphic, product and interior design, she applied at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK) in Switzerland and was accepted. She earned a BFA in Industrial Design, specializing in set and exhibition design. Her first exhibit was an art installation at the Museum for Art and Design in Zurich.
She decided to leave Europe and go to Miami, Florida, after having also visited New York and Los Angeles. The annual Art Basel Art Week and the thriving art scene in Wynwood, influenced by the unique Miami culture were crucial in the decision. Her focus went back to the fine arts, as designing didnt leave her enough creative space and freedom of expression. The artists imagery consists of animals, people and cartoon characters set in urban, realistic as well as fictive and surreal landscapes. Utilizing mainly acrylics or mixed media she creates complex narrative compositions in which the characters interact with each other and let the spectator be part of their story.
“I love to evoke emotions and stimulate communication. I want the viewer to be part of the PARTy, laugh, be silly, be disgusted, be arroused. Cartoonism is a perfect tool for that. I feel like we are all cartoon characters at the end of the day, since we were all created by someone or something. My art creates a special form of interaction with the audience. Observing people pause, turn to the person standing next to them and start an amusing and uplifting conversa- tion, continuesly discovering new details together, inventing the dialogues, until both feel like they`ve known each other for years makes me happy. Its almost like gossip. Art can create gossip without saying a word.”
As this suggests, the visual content and topics derived from years of drawing and illustrating, perfecting the art of narration on canvas. She illustrated the German Children`s Book “Charlotte`s Phantastische Geschichten” (Charlotte` phantastical stories) and is currently working on a comic book called “The Superuschi`s”. Between 2006 and 2007 she worked as an illustrator for WWF Switzerland and Parc ELA, Switzerland.