CHOPPING BLOCK: JENNYBIRD ALCANTARA
Posted on May 8, 2014
For those of us who grew-up with AOL and dial-up, the mere mention of artwork that features the mythological joining of woman and beast makes you wish you and your friend didn't go on the internet that one time his parent's weren't home. While this pairing is more commonly used to solicit cheap thrills, when done correctly, the combination of nature and femininity can make for some truly wonderful art. A perfect example of this would be the tasteful imagery contained in Jennybird Alcantara's oil paintings.
This week we had the opportunity to speak to Jennybird about her floral interpretations of the capillary system, her affinity towards religious imagery, and her upcoming limited edition timed release with Prints On Wood.
POW: You frequently unite the female form with different animals in your pantings. Why is that?
JENNY: I feel very connected to animals, I love their physical beauty and am intrigued by the purity of their nature. I enjoy exploring the symbolism animals embody that have been placed upon them by humans as well creating new relationships with that nature as seen though my artistic lens. Since my paintings come from my own experience of life and I'm female, then it's most natural for me to focus on the female form in my work. When the 2 are fused together the female character is taking on the attributes of the animal character and visa versa.
THE FIRST BUNNY WAS A DEER by Jennybird Alcantara
POW: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that you were interested at becoming a veterinarian at some point. Would this explain the stylized dissections of your painted creatures?
JENNY: I was never seriously interested in being a Veterinarian, I think this must have come from an Interview where I was asked about the animals in my work and I reflected upon being a young child and 'wanting to be a vet' when in my child mind that meant listening to their heartbeat and generally hanging out with them. I remember, at some point, realizing that a Vet had to sometimes 'cut them open' and that completely changed my mind.
In general in my work I am interested in 'uncovering', the uncovering of what is hidden in the heart and mind, the secret places of the soul, the things beneath these flesh and bones that we all wear. Or as I've said before "what may be beneath the skin or under the petticoats of extraordinary girls" Dissecting the animal, human, plant body's and integrating them, hybridizing them with other parts of living things are in a way my metaphors and symbols of this life journey, they are keys to doors not yet opened, they are about uncovering mystery and finding connection in all living things.
ANATOMY OF ENDEARMENT by Jennybird Alcantara
POW: Many of your visuals parallel Religious iconography, such as the sunbursts, hand gestures, and suffering expressions in your paintings. Is this done to compliment or caricature the spirit of these themes?
JENNY: I love the precious nature of classical religious and mythological paintings , the gestures, longing, suffering, Love, Reverie and search for enlightenment. I like to infuse into my paintings the feelings of a holy encounter with ones secret self, nature and the sublime mysterious unknown and 'Canonize' my characters giving them a similar 'Saintly' status as the figures in religious paintings of the past, while remaining separate from religious dogma.
TALISMAN by Jennybird Alcantara
POW: As a self-described feminist, do your thoughts and opinions on gender-equality ever manifest itself through your work?
JENNY: I don't really see my work as political in nature at all, it's really more of place for my fantasy world to come to life.
POW: I understand that your upcoming limited POW release: Sacred Heart, is one from a series of four heart themed paintings. Could you describe the inspiration behind this image? How did this series come to exist?
JENNY: I've been exploring the heart in different ways in my art for about as long as I can remember. The original idea for these 4 in particular came from the title of a painting I've yet to paint called 'Snow White Inside' the idea was basically what Snow White might look like inside her body. I wanted these pieces to be a mainly rosy and white palette. I have a recurring series of paintings that resemble pink dissections on a black background to enhance the feeling that you are looking at a foreign hybrid specimen of sorts, these 'animal heart' paintings are a continuation of that series.
Prints On Wood is proud to present: Sacred Heart, a sign and numbered limited timed release by Jennybird Alcantara. This 8 x 8 diagonal print will be offered on a 3/4" thick bright white wood canvas and retails for $60. Sacred Heart will be available for purchase on May 12th, where it's sale will continue through the week, ending on May 17th.
For more information on Jennybird Alcantara, please visit her website: http://www.jennybirdart.com/