©2017-2018 by Reciprocal art magazine

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    Virtual Real, 2018, acrylic and gouache on canvas, 44 x 48 inches

    Your work explores both physical and psychological space; could you elaborate on that?

    In my installations, I explore physical space through the integration of the site, scale and object. Many of my works are either site responsive or site specific in some way. 

    In my paintings I explore the physical through layering, paint handling and manipulating transparency between layers. 

    I think of psychological space as being intimate, activating phenomena, the ethereal or having a combination of kinesthetic or tactile parts of an experience. There is a juxtaposition of scale, and placement of the assemblage relation to the sculpture. The use of mirrors and shadows has been a reoccurring element in the work. 

    In the paintings I think the psychological space is inherent in allowing the viewer to see the evolution of the mark making. There is also a part of the painting that looks 3D or has a floating effect, which lends itself to operating between real and imagined space. 

    What is your process when it comes to making these works? Is there certain criteria, either formally or conceptually, that you strive to meet within each piece?

    My process is strange in the paintings. They are both traditional and non traditional in terms of working from an academic way of building the surface. I often trade the beginning route of sources/drawings, borrowing or excluding, or using digital programs (more recently).

    I also make large-scale sculptural assemblages. Every time I work on a new sculptural project the build informs how I then come back into the painting space. The experience carries with me and I tend to gain a certain wavelength of perception about how the work can function. Working on sculpture and painting sometimes simultaneously, each having a set of limitations, expends a set of conceptual parameters, that either being routed in formalism or culture…this has informed both ways of working. So in the end the paintings have become more intuitive, collage influenced, and the layering is constantly evolving from the internal logic adopted from sculpture to painting and vice versa. 

    Who or what have you been looking at recently that has influenced your work?

    Recently I have been fascinated by stacked architecture, trends in graphic design, and geometric painting. I've been looking at the work of mural artists from around the world and love the new work of David Hytone, Deborah Zlotsky, Judy Pfaff, Vincent Deboer, and Clemens Behr.

    Jenniffer Omaitz

    What was your journey as an artist?

    I have always been creative and project driven as far back as I can remember. I attended art classes throughout high school, and eventually received a scholarship to attend the Cleveland Institute of art from 1997-2002. I took a long break between undergrad and graduate school, (5 years), during which time I lived in Denver, Colorado. Ended up getting a full ride to study at Kent State University for graduate school, graduating in 2009. Afterwards I wanted to teach and work as an artist. I became an Adjunct Professor at many of the area colleges in North East Ohio where I still work. The real journey is after school when you start to learn the business of being and artist and navigating the terrain on a national and international level.

    Design Construct, 2018, acrylic and gouache on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

    How does color and pattern come into play in your paintings, particularly in terms of the themes that they are exploring? How do you go about choosing your color palette? 

     

    When it comes to painting, I am extremely sensitive to color combinations close to the painting. I often create a storyboard of hue to deliberately sway my selection on the palette… shifting a certain way. Being this sensitive to anything that surrounds me in my immediate studio, I have to filter information. If I have any preparatory drawings these may act as a guide. Sometimes whatever architectural book I am looking at or a graphic design book that is new also may influence the work as I adopt and collage certain portions of what I see. Themes emerge and dissipate depending on process…those parts are constantly evolving.

    Siteless, 2018, acrylic and gouache on canvas, 48 x 48 inches