Faculty Member George Jenne Opens Solo Exhibit
Civilian Art Projects proudly presents its first exhibition of the New Year: “Don’t Look Now” by Brooklyn-based artist George Jenne. The exhibition opens to the public in Civilian’s new space at 1019 7th Street NW on Friday, January 15, 2010 and will be on view until February 13, 2010. The opening reception for the artist is on Friday, January 15 from 7pm to 9pm.
For “Don’t Look Now,” Jenne creates a multi-media environment reminiscent of a movie set. Complete with a spectral pirate, exploding heads, and a beastial Boy Scout, “Don’t Look Now” explores the connections between childhood discovery, sudden understanding such as when truth is revealed through a work of art, and the unsettling examination of creepy monsters. The sculpture is interspersed with tweaked movie posters and graphite drawings, objects just slightly askew and dizzying in their content and placement as if to warn the viewer that this is no ordinary movie set.
A gifted sculptor and draftsman, Jenne’s creations are simultaneously nostalgic and dreadful. Seated in the gothic, and horror movie genre, monsters are featured prominently. In the words of the artist, “the word, monster, comes from the Latin, ‘monstrum’ and ‘moneo’ which translate respectively as ‘a portent’ and ‘to warn.’ For me, there is a strong connection between the act of warning or revealing and the portentous atmosphere of pre-pubescence, thus a strong connection between the abject, mutated form of the monster, and a person’s tenuously pristine state of mind during early adolescence.”
“The visual brutality of that cinema and the madness of its narratives resonate with motifs of the grotesque and the anomalous that recur in my work. Theatrical lighting plays a heavy role in the installations and each work is conceived as tableaux from an epic and elusive narrative. Smaller work fulfills the role of character, costume and prop. Text based pieces are fractured scripts reconstructed so as to take on new meaning.”
Jenne’s fine art practice is a departure from the perfection of his commercial prop making work. In it he allows a certain controlled chaos to dictate imperfection. The resulting installation is one that encumbers the viewer in an intense, visceral scene of skilled and intense craftsmanship met with a flare for frightening and provoking the audience. This provocation pushes towards contemplating our reactions to the grotesque, the non-pristine, and the reasons found therein.
George Jenne lives and works in New York. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995 and currently serves as adjunct faculty in the film, animation, and video department. As founder and president of Bandolier, Inc, Jenne has supported himself for ten years as an artist through making props, models and miniatures for film, commercial television and print ads. His clients include L’Oreal, A&E Network, and Emporio Armani. His artwork has recently been on exhibit at Exit Art, Jack the Pelican Presents, Envoy Enterprises, and PS122 in New York. His work has been reviewed in The New Yorker, Art in America, and The Washington Post.
More images can be found at www.civilianartprojects.com. Exhibition hours are Wed & Saturday 1 to 6pm, Tuesday and Thursday by appointment and Friday 4 to 8pm. High-resolution JPEG images are available upon request.