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Janie B Samuels
BROOKLYN, NY



ARTIST STATEMENT: My paintings are simultaneously political and personal, universal and intimate. It is often humorous and ironic, emotional, sometimes challenging, but always inviting. My work has been and always will be about "humanity," which is increasingly relevant, as we become more inured to and inundated with technology which often desensitizes us and distances us from human interaction.The work captures a glimpse of a provocative or emotionally charged moment, and as such is either situational or narrative. Something happened before the depicted scene and something will happen after, the work being the key to both. I believe, like Kandinsky, that color and form have inherent expressive qualities. Like Matisse, I am interested in how color, pattern and form break down abstractly. This contradiction of expressive and formal qualities is fundamental to the work. I use line to convey movement and to reaffirm the linear aspect of the canvas. Some of the imagery is modeled to create the illusion of volume. Other areas are comprised of highly hued flat blocks of color. The image works narratively and abstractly and has an intrinsic balance of form and content. The videos that have developed from the paintings are a result of the overwhelming desire to have the paintings breathe, to create a sense of movement, and of life, a kind of flip book. They also document the choices I make and the progression of thought, chronicling my choices. As for the observer, the movie acts as an insight into those choices. It becomes experiential and offers the observer an opportunity to see the evolution of the work. One no longer has to ask the artist about the choices made, one sees them. The artist is exposed. The videos are intended to be mounted on the wall and to play alongside the hung painting. The most recent development in my work is photographic gel transfer and oil on panel works. These grew out of my interest in manipulating both my drawings and photographs on the computer and reworking them by hand in pastel or oils. The subject are landscapes both urban and rural, an intimate portrait from every day life. The photographs are manipulated in Photoshop, printed and transferred to panels, absorbed by the gel medium and the remaining paper stripped away. The panels are then painted and varnished.
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