Biography: Janna Avner is a painter interested in creative technologies. She lives in Los Angeles where she cofounded Femmebit, a digital new media festival celebrating women artists. Janna curates shows, exhibits paintings, and writes as much as time permits. Her research centers on the relationship between empathy and art, as well as technology’s effects on the physical body that lead to self-exploration and self-understanding.
Since graduating from Yale in 2012, Janna continues to inspire her friends and community through art that speaks to the human condition in today’s polarizing political climate and to facilitate means of psychological transcendence. 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.
Explanation of work: my current 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 I use. 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.
I might be considered a “painter’s painter,” yet I disavow the hierarchy of art making in which this terminology is reinforced by the conceptual marketplace and pluralistic discourses. I’ve 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.