~JAENA KWON . . GREENPOINT OPEN STUDIOS
this is the piece behind her. her works are both paintings, and shallow wall sculptures.
the questions she asks, are purely theoretic – the manipulated boundaries, and plasticity games that manipulated mediums i.e. paint and wood – can play, and ultimately warp, and otherwise engage . . spatial dynamics.
NICHOLAS STEINDORF in front of an all-white, more shallow . . ‘staging’ by JANA KWON.
Nicholas brought me over to meet Jaena, and in that sense he curated this little weekend excursion. a visit with his friend – Levi Haske – is up next.
JAENA also had pieces that were more formally ‘sculptures’ in that they stood on the floor and claimed 3-D space.
Jaena’s works are based on wooden forms that she first makes, then she paints them in mute tones with acrylic paint, and then she waxes the surface, I think ? and then finally she sands and polish rubs them into a waxy, epoxy-like, almost buttery muted leather surface.
the finished pieces look very worked, and yet not quite what they should be, re: your typical painted surface.
they definitely ‘transform’.
Jaena’s work station.
I (personally) experienced Jaena’s work, and her studio space – as very much as that of an artisan, as well as an artist – at work, in that the resultant work felt so ‘hands-on’ . . and was made so ‘hands-on’. despite the advanced minimalist theory that hung in the room, and I mean that in a good way. it’s my thinking, and most likely, not just mine – – that it’s always good when the sensuality of the materials, and the way they are worked . . overtakes the thoughts & concepts – I mean, isn’t that the point ?
whether it’s the intellectual passion in Nicholas’ work, or the workmanship passion – in Jaena’s.
JAENA KWON, hardly looking like paint and wood – by any means. I almost got the feeling, the metaphor that came to mind, was of a highly accomplished ‘shoe maker’ presenting the most fabulous pair of butter soft custom-made leather boots, that would fit like a glove. I guess the parallel is, these are objects to marvel at, to behold and wonder about . . meditate on.
and despite all the hallowed ‘formalism’ – me being me – I did spot a little bit of other-worldly ‘magic’ – !!
anybody else see those two faces, the ghostly profiles . . on the left.
not sure if that’s deliberate, or just a stage of a work in progress – guess that’s the excitement of being inside a working studio – process, thought, future – all about to take shape.
up close and personal.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. OCT 5, 2014