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Jenna Gribbon in Art of Choice

By Cristina Samper

As a part of THE TENNIS ELBOW, a series of short solo exhibitions featuring up-and coming artists by THE JOURNAL GALLERY, NY, Jenna Gribbon presented an added layer of complexity and meaning to the global Contemporary art scene we find ourselves in today. The series of paintings titled The Artist, Eroticized, Dec. 4 – 17, took on questions of meaning in truth and identity, by depicting promising and established artists in their studios. We ask you to look closely at these works. there are some names and paintings we have seen before at AOC. 

It presented a study of portraits of up-and-coming and recognized contemporary artists in purely intimate and characteristically ‘eroticized’ moments. Featured artists in the exhibition were ALINA PEREZ, DEVAN SHIMOYAMA, ROBIN FRANCESCA WILLIAMS, DORON LANGBERG, CHLOE WISE, ANTHONY CUDAHY, SALMAN TOOR, ANGEL DUFRESNE, HALEY JOSEPHS, and DOMINIQUE FUNG. The deeply expressive stroke of the artist, entwined with the exploration of subjects that tend to be behind the paintbrush, offered a truly innovative and fresh perspective of individuals that are rarely subjects; that was in many ways, parallel to what this year has been to most.

An artist’s soul and individuality is in many ways visible through their work. However, artists speak to artists speak very differently than they do to other non-artists. There are many ways to know a fellow artist, one of which is to take a tour around their studio, their place of creation. What’s more, is the subjects in these paintings not only show their space to Gribbon, they present themselves in a nude, or semi-nude context that changes the dynamics of meaning entirely.

Each painting speaks differently to the viewer. Just as we know that the environment which surrounds each subject is in some ways a reflection of themselves. Take for instance the painting below, Salman. The vertical composition sets the stage for the subsequent line formation in the foreground. Within the bright maroons and off-white pinks, the subject stands in the absolute center of the composition, comfortably leaning on a cart holding his paints, seemingly unaware of the presence of the viewer. Salman stands in sheer contrast against Anthony (above).  With a predominant green taking over the large composition, the subject sits on a high stool, wearing nothing but a pair of socks and glasses. Shamelessly staring through his nose at the viewer, who simply must deal with the fearless confidence.

As mentioned above, what’s all the more impacting, is the undeniable confidence present in the subjects’ expressions throughout the series. They appear as individuals with the ability and experience of gazing, an active form of demonstrating power dynamics, in so changing the entire dynamic of the Gaze. The artist is known for, and expected to create content through the act of observation. They’re there to understand how to visually depict Except this time, we’re the ones that are doing the observation, to this unusual pool of subjects.

Continue Scrolling to see more of the engaging, expressive, and intimately revealing paintings of quite fascinating artists. As full compositions, they present the viewer with the portrait of a person. Make sure to check out all the artists depicted.