venerdì 5 febbraio 2010

Interview with Jenny Morgan

q) Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.

a) Hello, I am a painter currently living and working in New York City. I grew up in Utah and lived in Colorado for a bit before moving to New York City four years ago. I adore New York and haunt the Brooklyn streets of Williamsburg. The figure has always been the focus and my current work is primarily about the portrait. My sign is cancer and I have no pets, but lots of plants and lots of nightmares.

q) Had you always planned on being an artist [or had you other hopes]?

a) I can safely say that I had always planned on being an artist. My dad is an architect and certainly nutured my artistic pursuit since I was a little girl. I never regarded being an artist as a bad way to make a living or imagined that I would starve- being a painter was simply something I didn't question. Although, I did have a short stint of time during my freshamn year of high school when I thought about becoming a dream psychologist- I had just started reading Jung and Freud and was captivated by the thought of dissecting the human mind and getting to the roots of the unconscious. But, that obsession faded and I think that the influences of Freud and Jung and the desire to dissect the unconscious is now expressed within my work.

q) Do you have a preferred medium to work on? Why?

a) Yes, I am an oil painter. I've tried many other mediums, but haven't fallen in love anything else- my life partner is paint. I have always envied artist who can transform their ideas into multiple shapes and media- like a sculptor who has a way with paint or an installation artist who can produce captivating videos...My ideas and imagery have always been on a flat 2-D existence. And, truth be told I do work on photographs in between time with paintings. I take extensive reference photos of my models and lately have been manipulating them using a soft cloth and water to rub off the top layers of ink to reveal reds and yellows. I'm not sure if I will ever show these though, the paintings just feel more real to me.

q) How would you describe your style?

a) Up until recently, I would have been dubbed a photo-realist. But in the past few years I have been exploring and experimenting with both abstract and realistic forms. What comes most naturally is the desire to paint and study the figure- through portraiture I have found my niche. I am using a simple and traditional format as a structure to play with and move paint around in ways that scare and challenge me. I build up realistic layers and then sand away parts or alter my realist hand.

q) Do you go through any certain processes while trying to produce your work?

a) I always start with my models- the people I choose to paint are those closest to me and often I am drawn to the enigmatic females in my life. If they are willing, I ask them pose nude and I take a massive amount of shots and then edit through to find what works best. Rarely do I direct them or have a set concept. Much of my process is dictated by what feels best in the moment. Sometimes I have an image of what I want from a specific subject and then once the painting gets going the ideas suddenly change or don't feel right anymore. I am learning to listen to the painting and quiet my mind and expectations.

q) What are you working on at present?

a) I'm working on a self-portrait, which is always a difficult task for me. The first few moments of this painting felt really amazing and now that I am nearing the finish, she has put up a bit of a fight...I feel that I am transitioning to a new body of work and this current self-portrait is lingering in old concepts, but I am now trying to throw in something new to keep myself interested enough to finish.

q) What about recent sources of inspirations?

a) I think that a majority of my initial concepts float into my subconscious from observations in my environment. When I feel overwhelmed by my own work I have no interest in looking at other art or going to shows. Most of my concepts and ideas have been floating in right before sleep- my mind clears allows new colors and shapes to form. Also I recently did some collaborative works with my friend David Mramor and his style has influenced me greatly...

q) What are some of your obsessions?

a) Painting and being in my studio. Podcasts and audio books concerning anything paranormal; ufo's, alien abduction, ghosts, strange creatures and near death experiences. Also radio programs about science, especially astronomy and physics. Yogurt and granola. Pineapples. Finding new music. and the boy I am in love with.

q) Which galleries have you shown at and which galleries would you like to show at?

a) I am represented by Plus Gallery in Denver CO and Like the Spice Gallery in New York.

Since 2003 I have shown in Pirate Gallery and Plus Gallery in Denver CO. Like the Spice Gallery, Postmasters gallery, Kravet/Wehby Gallery, University of Columbia in New York and the Smithsonian Institute. Also galleries in Utah and Florida. I have yet to show on the west coast, but I do have a group show coming up in LA that I am very excited about at The West Los Angeles College. The one gallery I have my heart set on for the future is Roberts and Tilton in LA....I love all the artists in their stable so I am keeping my fingers crossed that someday I get the chance to show there.

q) If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

a) I always love receiving emails at, and I do use facebook quite a bit.

q) Do you have any suggestions or advice for artists that are just starting out?

a) I know what helped me most was just consistently working and having space to do so. I also think it's critical to have your work out in the world in whatever means possible- websites, submitting to juried competitions, links on friends websites, group shows and blogs help to get the work seen and appreciated. And above all develop a strong network of other artists to use as support- shows and studio visits are primarily facilitated by friends introducing friends to dealers and curators. We love to help each other out.

q) Who are your favorite artists?

a) Jenny Saville, Inka Essenhigh, Gerhard Richter, Francis Bacon, Marilyn Minter, Lucian Freud, Michael Borremans, Luc Tuymans, Neo Rauch, Lisa Yuskavage.

q) What books are on your nightstand?

a) As of right now "The Anatomy of the Spirit" by Caroline Myss, "Cosmic Conversations, Dialogues on the Nature of the Universe and the Search for Reality" by Stephan Martin and "Seeing Out Louder" by Jerry Saltz.

q) To what weaknesses are you most indulgent?

a) Procrastination and the occasional flakiness. I'm always apologizing to someone for not calling them back.

q)….your contacts…


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