Jenna Gribbon portrait

Jenna Gribbon

Studio 355

www.jennagribbon.com

b. 1978, Knoxville, TN

BFA, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Area of Concentration at Hunter: Painting

Projected Graduation: Spring 2019

The documentary film The Gleaners and I, which was made by Agnes Varda on the cusp of this century, opens with a shot of a beautiful set of illustrated encyclopedias. These attractive artifacts have been rendered practically useless in our time, and the film goes on not only to lament the wastefulness of modern life, but to paint a portrait of those on the edges of society who devote themselves to living off of the things the rest of us have cast aside. I think about this film sometimes when I’m making my paintings. I understand the need to cast off outmoded practices, and this goes on with painting on a continual basis, but I’m happy to be the person who stays behind, scavenging for useful things that can be salvaged. For several years the process of painting for me has been an effort to collect these salvaged bits, and assemble them on a canvas. The works are all simply oil on canvas, but the effect is collage-like. There is in general an ambiguous space that contains shifting modalities of paint, but always to an illusionistic end. The resulting works are artifacts of a note taking process, and are meant to arouse the question, “Why is that thing so strange against that thing?” I’m interested in the simple and now old idea that Andre Breton puts forward in Surrealism and Painting, that combining disparate imagery can have a revolutionary effect on an audience/society, because it forces a change in perception in order to accommodate the existence of something that seems logically impossible.

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