Oil on wood panel
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Jennybird Alcantara (American).
“It is always a strangely challenging thing to talk about my own work and while I feel so literate with color and form, words, attempting to articulate my images, don't flow as easily as paint off of my brush. In looking back at the titles of a few of my major solo shows, I can see a fuller view of my visual language and the message of my work. Some of my favorite titles are ‘Swooning at the River of Oblivion,’ ‘Creatures of Saintly Disguise,’ ‘Charming the Wilds’ and ‘Lullaby of the Bounty in Repose.’ It's a romantic notion. It's an evolution, a mystery and a dream.
Recently I was told by an artist colleague of mine that my work feels lyrical to her, which was a high compliment for me as it touches on a feeling that I'm trying to imbue in my work, that being of poetry, and poetry is a mix of beauty and heartache intertwined, so much the same as life. And the basis of what I'm expressing in my work is the complexity, the beauty and the tragedy of life itself. For me, it's about creating something beautifully esoteric that perhaps has the ability to inspire wonder and deep thought. I feel like I am exploring and illustrating the cycle of life but from the soul's vantage point.
My work explores themes of the duality of the natural, instinctual part of humans, animals and of nature itself, with works that speak to each other as porthole views into unseen places. They provide a narrative of frozen secret moments, where things aren't as expected and where roles are exchanged between the characters and species of the landscape. Depictions of flora and fauna integrated with human and animal characters serve as metaphors for the connections between all living things; darkness and light are at constant play and I try to maintain a tender balance between the two.
In my painting ‘The Seduction,’ included in the Boundless Space Auction, duality is one of the central aspects. I like playing around with the idea of hero and villain, leaving open the possibility that those roles are interchangeable and depend upon the viewer’s determination or mood. I approach most of my work in this way. I always like to leave open the interpretation for the viewer. I like the idea that an original impression of a work can evolve over time, and I try to mix in just enough ingredients to allow a mystery to unfold.
In my 20+ years of working as a professional artist and exhibiting my paintings, one of the most profound things I have observed and benefited from is the connections that have been made through the work itself. My way of speaking with the world is through images and my paintings are the visual language that people who follow, enjoy or collect my work understand. This unspoken language is a powerful thing and creating some magic that sparks a light in a stranger’s eyes and heart is deeply rewarding.” —Jennybird Alcantara
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