Janna Avner creates oil paintings and writings that respond to stillness and new technologies. As a curator of art exhibitions in the VR/AR space, Janna finds hybrid approaches to understanding the 2D arts via the Z-plane axes. Janna was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, the New YorkTimes, 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) considered by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the best science books of the year. Janna graduated from Yale University in 2012.
Janna cofounded FEMMEBIT, a digital art festival celebrating women artists based in LA. Avner’s artworks and curations have been presented in Vice/ Creators Project, Hyperallergic, LA Weekly, and ArtNews. In 2018, Janna co-advised the creation of the Nook Gallery Los Angeles, a Sci + Art + tech gallery with artist Richelle Gribble in Inglewood, CA, for which Janna is now a contributing curator and arts writer. From 2015 – 2016, Janna ran a science + art lecture series in Chinatown LA as a gallery director at Discoveries in American Art. Janna has also been a guest speaker for UCLA’s Digital Media Arts Department (2017), and the New York Times School (2019).
While we are bound by time in fleeting moments, I make paintings that create and bound us by their stillness. Time is captured, and we can find a pause-point, during which nothing happens except our light observations of this particular feeling.
These works are also about working towards order, creating streams of color that have multitudes of other colors that the eye first perceives in order to harmonize: this technique creates the personal feeling that time works towards harmony, structure, and control, not chaos and disorder. So there’s this calming effect I think the works convey.
My works are also inspired by my relationships with digital art communities here and abroad. I create oil paintings that deconstruct traditional subject matter (still lives, landscapes, people), while keeping in mind digital software’s ability to erase the human hand through the incorporation of perfectly straight, hyper-real gradients, vectors, and grids. Through this process of incorporation, I aim to re-visualize the world through a new perceiving that encompasses our digital existences, while acknowledging small every-day life experiences that happens when we engage with real life. I integrate holographic elements in my work to heighten light and dark contrasts, and to materially reference something beyond paint, like the glowing computer screen, which creates a similar, fantastical illusion.