Paintings of Jennifer Nehrbass represent modern drama and predicament during outings in a deeply symbolic manner and we see the merging of old and new conflicting elements. These paintings/collages resonate the perennial issues in art and culture and you begin to notice allusions and subtle references to life, death and everything between. Her skilled use of photography and Photoshop along with a fluid painting style create a magical realism bordering fancy and fantasy. Her art is a trat to eyes as well and here’s our simple interview with the artist:
I am a painter living and working in Albuquerque, New Mexico.I was born in West Bend, Wisconsin in 1970.I received a Bachelor’s Degree in both Art and Textile Design from the University of Wisconsin, an MA in Painting from New York University, and an MFA from the University of New Mexico. I spent over 10 years in New York as a Design Director at Ralph Lauren Home Collection.
If I could do anything other than painting would be to travel as much as I could.
It may seem cliché but I think most artists have always been creating since they can remember. I find myself in that category as well. Milestones would include: graduating with an MFA, and continuing my work while creating a family.
What is your artist’s statement? What do you feel about your art?
A fellow artist told me that painting would always be your jealous lover, and I couldn’t agree more.
Each painting has a life of its own. Generally on a larger work, 110″ x 67″ the painting could take up to three months. I start each work with a photo taken by either myself or of myself. I generally have used Photoshop to create the collage. As of late I am using the computer less and less and using more cut and paste to create the collage in which the painting is based. I have recently been inspired by the amazing diversity of colored papers.
What is about art that challenges you?
Maybe I am a glutton for punishment but everything about art challenges me. If it comes too easy it tends to be in the end tired or boring.
The style that I am currently working with has transformed over many years. The one constant is the realism of the figure. I found it more exciting and challenging to place the figure in abstracted environments. Each style contrasts the other, making the elements push and pull off of one another. I like to think I am playing with the language of paint.
What are your views on contemporary art?
Contemporary Art has a life of its own. It ebbs and flows depending on the tastes of certain collectors. If I think about art as a market it saddens me, but I have a belief there is room for anyone who puts the time and thought into their work.
I have shows scheduled through 2016. I would love to someday branch out into installation and make one of my paintings come to life. To design the sets of a live production or an opera would be on my short list of my life’s ambition.
Tell us what inspires and motivates you:
I am always interested in good storytelling in any artistic form. I love the work of Margaret Atwood and have used her book “The Penelopiad” for a series of paintings in 2009. I look to the prints of Hiroshige for abstraction and am inspired by the painters from the New School Leipzig. The next painting is always my best one that is enough to keep me motivated!
All images © Jennifer Nehrbass : Website