Janna Avner is an oil painter who responds to new technologies and curates shows in the VR/AR space. Her practice finds hybrid approaches to understanding the 2D arts via the Z-plane (along the X-, Y- axes).
Since graduating from Yale in 2012, Janna has been quoted in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Paris Review. Her writings on Artificial Intelligence were selected for “What Future: The Year’s Best Ideas to Reclaim, Reanimate, and Reinvent Our Future,” a 2017 best-of-anthology by Unnamed Press. Janna cofounded FEMMEBIT, a digital art festival celebrating women artists based in LA.
Janna’s art practice exposes audiences to new ideas and ways of structuring 2D and 3D space to expand their minds and enable socially progressive platforms to occur. Her research also centers on the relationship between empathy and art, as well as technology’s effects on the physical body, which leads to self-exploration and self-understanding.
Janna’s oil paintings are still lifes, figurations and landscapes that locate form in virtual spaces. Considering how form is constructed in virtual and augmented reality software inspires aesthetic decisions in the colors and materials she uses. Such materials are refraction gradients (holograms), geometric pigment, metallic spray paint, resin and other reflective/ multi-reflective mediums. These additional mediums alter three-dimensional illusions for unrealistic and realistic depictions of traditional subject matter. In these works, mimetic representation is dismantled so as to create alternative realities that probe the imagination and elicit emotional and psychological responses.
Janna might be considered a “painter’s painter,” yet she disavows the hierarchy of art making in which this terminology is reinforced by the conceptual marketplace and pluralistic discourses. She has come to realize that there are no problems in “painting as a discourse,” per se; there are problems in the verbalizing pursuit to deconstruct and understand it through art institutional pedagogy.