Jenna

Artist. South Williamsburg.

 

 

East Coast born and raised, she settled in New York for School. Now she parses her time between her Clinton Hill studio and assisting the painter Bjarne Melgaard.

 

 

 

 

Top, H&M ; Shorts, Vintage ; Shoes, Keds

Top, H&M ; Shorts, Levi's

I’ve fallen into a monochrome wardrobe of black, white, beige. It was earth tones for a few years, like peering into Indian Jones’ closet—just a sea of khaki. I buy the same item in rotating variations. I’m the cartoon character opening the closet to 12 of the same outfit. But style is its own self-willed uniform anyway, just more malleable than I’m making it sound.
 

Dress, Vintage ; Jacket, Liz Claireborne

 
Stella Dallas is a great affordable vintage store. Horizons is a nice one as well. I usually just go to salvation army and skip the middle man. The middle man being a vintage store and it’s usually a middle woman.

Jenna's favorite books

I’m a sucker for writers who meld humor and insight. David Sedaris was probably the catalyst, reading Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Demin in high school felt like I acquired a small spark of identity, like pasting the boy band poster on your bedroom wall. I was impressed with how effortlessly he pulled off sardonic and poignant simultaneously. Donald Barthelme is a more current literary crush, reading him has a way of feeling like you’re talking to a friend. A relaxed intimacy only possible through a true mastery of writing. He captures and collages language like a literary machine, coding deeply insightful cultural commentary in a list of stream of consciousness verbiage. I think I love him so much because he treats words like objects, pulling them apart and putting them back together, playfully rearranging their prior connotations. You’re constantly gripping for a reality that he’s in control of.

Jenna's favorite beauty products

I rarely buy skin care products, I always feel like I’m being sold an expensive dream. I did get suckered into buying a moisturizer from Kiehls that looks like it should cure a snake bite. It comes in, what appears to be a medicinal pipet, so it looks like its healing powers are legitimate. I’ll keep you posted on the results but here’s to hoping for 110 years wrinkle-free.

Jenna's favorite record

 
 
I can’t pick a favorite record, but this one used to get a lot of play in the morning. Herb Alpert is usually reserved for game show themes and b-roll footage, which conveniently turns breakfast into a 1960’s melodrama.
I started creating form through a process of dissection, a sort of autopsy induced through copying. The replica became a tool to decelerate the process of making for me. Portraiture becomes dilated into a broader dialogue of what an object is. A reframing not too far from a favorite Vilja Celmins piece To Fix the Image to Memory where the famed dance of copying is an instrument for understanding. Cue an image of Paul Thek’s hand sculpture series, and cut to Gober’s plywood.
Jenna's studio in Clinton Hill

Jenna's studio in Clinton Hill

The copy usually sparks an outdated discussion of value, and at its worst, just asks for a compliment on technique. But objects crafted from the process sit in a fascinating limbo, gently surreal and paralyzed between sculpture and painting. Their marriage flattens each into a composite of perfect illusion—almost like the tease of a window’s ‘display only’ sign.
I’ve been working on a series of sculptures of paintings. Cast architectural detritus improvised into ad hoc frames: scrap canvas stapled to pallets, windows nailed to plywood, styrofoam screwed into frames. A visual economy of means, as makeshift frames made of scrap. Akin to a brushstroke, you’re privy to the permutation of decisions with each staple, nail, screw. But they’re completely hollow, foam and plaster disguised as dumpster debris, latex casts of canvas, all seemingly fastened with fake nails and screws.
Top, H&M ; Shorts, Vintage ; Shoes, Keds

Top, H&M ; Shorts, Vintage ; Shoes, Keds

Together they create this strange arsenal of reverse ‘found objects.’ These very literal building blocks of making—now dressed in the skin of the object they attempt to recall—become entirely collapsed. They’re going to be pretty goofy when they’re done, facsimiles of building materials built into paintings, tightly sandwiched between intention and accident, for me they circle around the impulse of what it means to make anything.

Jenna's Wishlist


Jenna Recommends

 

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