Jana Charl


Venus of Adams Square, 3-month Temporary Installation [click image for video]
Venus of Adams Square

May 3 - July 28, 2017: Adams Square Mini Park Gas Station, Glendale, California

Exploring a variety of media and techniques around testing the boundaries of what defines contemporary art, especially the blurring of the traditional lines dividing craft, commercial and fine art, characterizes my creative process. Fascinated by the challenge to capture the human form and psyche, I stylize the curves that define and distinguish the sexes. By focusing on the minimal, yet still recognizable form, I strive to express universal experiences as well as personal associations.

Reminiscent of the prehistoric Venus figurines (such as the Venus of Tepe Sarab and Venus of Willendorf), “Venus of Adams Square” is a curvaceous, fertility-goddess-like sculpture. The Venus is made of scraps of visually captivating colorful textiles and second-hand clothing which are sewn together and stuffed. Completing the installation are suspended abstract flowers of textile pieces which represent the abundance of yellow flowers and blossoms in the park.

[click here for proposal video]

Sunset, Temporary Installation, Arsenal Street, Waterford, Massachusetts [check back for video]
Sunrise Installation

June – TBA, 2017, 3-panels on vinyl, 12 x 5 feet / 3.66 x 1.52 meters each

Sunrise is acrylic painted on canvas; however, I disrupted the canvas surface by cutting it and then weaving painted strips of canvas into it.

The stylized female form has become a signature in most of my artwork over a period of many years. It symbolizes the personalization of often abstract concepts. We can intellectualize so many aspects of our lives without feeling a human connection. As a woman, it is most familiar to relate to my own sex. I don’t intend to exclude men; but rather to question the accepted practice of using the male sex as the default to represent both sexes. By choosing female representations, I question perceptions.

My passion is story-telling. I have created a language of bars, which I incorporate into my paintings, to represent the words and punctuation of the narration. Viewers are challenged to use their own words to tell the story; thus, creating an individualized experience.

Tables, Chandeliers, and Selfies, Proposal for Faena Art Prize, Buenos Aires [click image for video]
Venus of Adams Square

Proposal submitted August 2016

My creative practice involves exploring different media and techniques around testing the boundaries of what defines contemporary art, including the blurring of the traditional lines dividing craft, commercial art, and fine art. I am a passionate storyteller inspired by the raw materials, experiences, and observations that I collect. By appropriating the inherent histories of found objects, I add layers of meaning and humor. Serendipitous discoveries in a scrap pile are welded into sculptures; digitally output elements are woven into acrylic paintings.

As the scene for this story, I visualize the Sala Molinos as a dining room from the early 1900s era; furnished with tables, chandeliers, and portraits. It is a space animated by lively conversations about art. "Tables, Chandeliers, and Selfies" contemporizes this setting with installations and mixed media art which are incongruous with one’s expectations; created to heighten the awareness of one’s experience in the moment, to stimulate an intuitive contemplation of time, la durée.

17.5 km away, 23 minutes by car, is Argentina’s largest cattle market, Mercado de Liniers. Another 10,836 km away, 18 hours by plane, is one of Oregon’s largest ranch holdings in Madras. Moving discarded and decaying cattle bale feeders and barbed wire spools from Hay Creek Ranch to the context of Faena Art Center, installed as “tables” and “chandeliers,” allows for the re-examination of their perceived life. As a consequence, the intended, predicted outcome is no longer relegated to the past; thereby demonstrating the indeterminate nature of duration as continuous, heterogeneous time.

Any attempt to capture a moment in time is already obsolete, as the moment passes instantaneously. Completing the environment is a series of "selfies"; the phenomenon of the selfie is an expression to isolate a frame of time. Canvas is painted in Los Angeles; giclée canvas prints are made in Buenos Aires and woven into the paintings. In order to suggest that the continuity of real time is not evenly divisible, they are spaced intermittently on the wall.

Tables that are cattle bale feeders, chandeliers that are barbed wire spools, and portraits that are headless selfies, are ultimately conceived of so that the viewer can exercise his/her imagination. After all: "Duration is ineffable and can only be shown indirectly through images that can never reveal a complete picture. It can only be grasped through a simple intuition of the imagination."
— Henri Bergson