Artistic Spotlight - Jen Mann

Jen Mann, an artist from Mississauga, Ontario, makes beautiful paintings. She graduated with a BFA in Printmaking from the Ontario School of Art and Design (OCAD) in 2009. When asked about her experience at OCAD she states "OCAD for me was amazing and terrible at the same time. The first year is too basic for most of the students who really know what they want to be doing and have already "found their wings" so to speak. So we will call year one "a cage". The cage can make you go a little crazy, and I found it a little boring but I knew I was in the right place. OCAD was a great environment. It’s the people you are in with that shape you more than anything else. I chose based on previous experimentations to do my next three years at OCAD in Printmaking: which was amazing but again... terrible. The program is small filled with a bubbling creativity and small class sizes great for one on one time with faculty. Printmaking was great - I was able to learn a lot, and experiment and have fun... but by the end I was sick of the labor-intensive process of printing. I think like anything OCAD had its highs and lows for me. Overall its a fond memory. But I'm glad it's over with degree in hand. I never took a painting class at OCAD but when I graduated and no longer had printmaking facilities available to me, painting just seemed like the logical option, and it was a relief from making multiples. I have been painting ever since. "
Mann's talents spread over a variety of mediums. "I like the freedom and immediacy of drawing with a pencil, the forgiving and endlessly imaginative qualities of painting in oil, and the nice crisp lines of micron pens. Oil paint is what I've been up to lately, I love the color, the toxicity... it makes it real you know... the fact that its not good for you to be around, it makes you feel like a rebel when you are in a room all day and you're all like "I shouldn’t be breathing this stuff in for so long" and the other part of you is like "damn right I shouldn’t ... but I’m going to anyways cuz I’m bad ass" ... I’ve had my love affair with both relief printing and etching, but I’m not sure when I will be taking on that mountain again." Her works carry a lot of animal themes. As she states of her work "I am fascinated by the natural world. Our animal instincts, nature, behavior and how our actions as a society affect the wellbeing of ourselves as animals. I am consumed by two ideas, in all the facets of the way I live. One of the ideas is social psychology and consumer behavior, and the other is existentialism. The first explains the ways in which society has shaped us to understand relate, and act in the world and live our lives according to their systems, and the second looks at the effects of the first on us as individuals, how it affects us spiritually and how to find inner peace amid the madness."
The responses to her work so far have been positive. Americans seem to be more receptive to her work in terms of shows and sales. To her that has become an advantage because of the travel and the ability to meet new people. When asked about the art industry she's somewhat ambivalent. "I find that it is a lot about who you know and who you meet. The art industry is more of an "invite only party" if you aren’t in the circle - you sort of hover around outside the party until finally by coincidence or hard work someone notices you and invites you to the party. I like to believe that hard work and talent do pay off in the end. " And where does Mann see herself in the future? "The big dream... just living' off the art I love to create... I think that has been my dream since I was a child - that’s cliché though I know, but I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist." To see more of her work click here.

2 comments:

  1. beautiful art! love the second last piece!

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  2. what starkly beautiful images...lovely post

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