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Janna Stern

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Website

Statement

 

statement

My artistic process begins with collecting salvaged colloquial objects, photographs, scraps of text, and dismantled remnants of previous works. Each object is carefully selected for its unconventional beauty and quality of mystery when separated from its conventional context. I find a coffee stain on a discarded playbill or the wear on the fold of an old map both intriguing and exquisite. I am fascinated by how ordinary words manifest a divergent visceral impact when translated into alternative type styles and languages. A found family vacation snapshot will maintain its sense of nostalgia but is nearly immaterial without its subjects to elaborate its story.

 

I find creating harmony between these inherently disharmonious objects a fascinating practice. Their connection may actually be their seeming disconnection. It is my challenge to find a relationship among them, and then place these objects in a way that gives them a new purpose. In reconstructing the objects’ significance or former collective meaning I am walking backwards on sacred ground. The result may be unsettling, but that is my work’s greatest potential and promise; a new way to view the world. I admittedly feel an enormous pressure to explore every facet of what can be done with each object, thought, or photograph, and allow it to speak, sometimes even shout, a fresh significance. Old world meet the new.

 

A piece of art, much like a person, is the totality of the experience of its ingredients. All my chosen objects have a place in the past and I redefine their history not only by their arrangement, but through the modern world’s most expanding technology-- the computer. I digitally collage elements, adding colors and effects to heighten their visual impact. Each art piece becomes an interactive process of an experimentation of object and technique. The colors I select as their backdrop work in tandem with their meticulously choreographed composition to illicit a more forceful emotional, visual, and aesthetic impact. I allow the objects, colors, forms, and content to evolve into a new drama.

 

A lot of my work involves the use of mannequins. When we view a photograph of a person we immediately respond to their looks, clothing, expression, or stance. We make a judgment on their appearance or project onto the subject our own condition. It is difficult to use a photograph of a person to create a neutral environment. A mannequin, however, is a blank canvas that can be easily manipulated and contorted to create a desired affect. They are not animated but solely anthropomorphized. I am fascinated not only with the potential inanimate quality, but with the history they have literally carried on their backs; they are stand-ins for collective ideals of fashion, femininity, body image and social status. We dress them up to broadcast our intention, and they offer no resistance to the forces imposed upon them. As they remain a potential ground for society to view itself and self-inflicted standards, I hope we can glean new meaning from the reflections on ourselves they provide for us. 

 

influences & favorites

bio

 Janna Stern is an inveterate artist whose prolific body of work is celebrated for her ability to combine compelling imagery with a didactic undercurrent. Deftly drawing the often-elusive line between art and science, Stern offers up visual accounts of prevalent social issues plaguing our modern society with sophisticated intellect and a profound compassion for the human condition.

 

 Stern’s work as it appears today is the product of an artist’s natural progression. Her artistic sensibilities came to light as a child growing up in a small mid-western town, where she developed an appreciation for color, nature and the beauty of simple objects. An integral force in Stern’s creative development was her mother, a gifted artist who gave private art lessons that centered on the more proper elements of drawing and design. Stern applied some of these skills when jaded with regular classroom curriculum, seeking entertainment in creating miniature sculptures of cars, tepees and dolls out of paper and cardboard.

 

 ­­­A family move to the Los Angeles area during adolescence further stimulated Stern’s artistic exploration of thought. In stark contrast to the sheltered life in a small non-industrial town, metropolitan Southern California provided a first glimpse of a carefree and media-driven lifestyle. Museums and theatres were more accessible, exposing the burgeoning artist to a vibrant art community that she never knew existed. In lieu of her mother’s technically accurate portraits and landscapes, she witnessed conceptual art laden with emotion and fashioned using unconventional media.

 

In delving further into contemporary artistic styles Stern acquired an interest for assemblage and expressionist art. As an adult, she created works out of driftwood, leather, paper and carpet scraps; the latter from which she made decorative rugs that resembled works by Mondrian.  Stern also displayed a knack for toy making, inspired by her role as a mother.  Believing that her children’s toys would carry greater significance if made by her own hand, she created patterns and objects that often incorporated characters from their favorite books. It was around this time that Stern became conscious of her constant need to create, an awareness met by her decision to turn to paper and canvas and a commitment to realize herself as an actual artist.

 

Stern’s creative exploration turned to a more conceptual and evocative style as she drew inspiration from her profession as a psychoanalyst. Analytic work focuses on interpreting conflicts by formulating images and metaphors from the patient’s revelations. The imaginative nature of this process linked her artistic aptitude and medical expertise. Stern’s assessment and treatment of patients required creative thinking and image building, the fruits of which permeated her subject matter and iconography. The ability to coalesce artistic and analytic passions is exemplified in Stern’s provocative series of collages titled “Measure for Measure: An Artistic Exploration of the Mythology of Eating Disorders”. The collection, exhibited extensively at college and university campuses, tackled the insidiously pervasive epidemic of eating disorders plaguing the youth in our society. These primal images grasped from the depths of primary process thinking demonstrate rich and raw creative juices flowing freely without fear of judgment, criticism or rejection. It is in this manner that many of Stern’s compositions reveal thoughtful insights into the human condition.

 

Stern’s ability to tactfully challenge popular preconceptions with alluring imagery has lead to an extensive exhibition history in the United States, predominantly in California, New York, Washington and Georgia, as well as international recognition with group shows in London, England and Budapest, Hungary, and South Africa. Her work has also been used in such award-winning shows as ER, Will and Grace, Washington Street, Bold and the Beautiful, and Six Feet Under. Such widespread appreciation is a mere testament to Stern’s unwavering commitment to create art that speaks not only to the eye and mind, but to the heart and soul.

 

RESUME

 

 

EDUCATION

Stanford University B.S. 1963

UCLA Medical School MD 1968­­

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 2002      Anastasia's Asylum, Santa Monica, California

 2001      "Tantalus", Marina del Rey, California

                 "Measure for Measure" Santa Barbara, California

 2000      "Measure for Measure," Ventura, California "Driven," Venice California

 1999      "Lyrical Constructs and Digital Art," Venice, California

 1998      "Canvas It," Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

 1997      "Cyberscenes," Sarah Winslow Gallery, Ridgecrest, California

 1996      LA County Fair Hi Tech Computer Pavilion, LA, California

 

PROJECTS AND AWARDS

 2004      1st Prize Pacific Palisades Art Association for Works under Glass

 2003      Permanent Guest Exhibitor at serendip.brynmawr.edu/exhibitions/stern

 2002      Featured Artist of the Month, Ladyfire.com

 2000      A Mir Encounter  a movie credit

 1999      Joseph A. Petrellis Prize for Photography

 1998      Cypress 23rd Annual Juried Exhibition, Second Prize, Other Media

 1996      Dvorak 1996 Telecommunications Awards, Event Poster

 1994      Southwest Museum Urban Arts Show, Two Honorable Mentions

 1993      Southwest Museum Urban Arts Show, 1st Prize, Color Photo

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

 2009     Julie Rico Gallery, Los Angeles, California

             “Artrageous: Cotton Candy Carnival”, Estel Gallery, Nashville TN

            "Frida Kahlo: Finding Beauty in Broken World"  Smith Farm Center,  Washington DC   

            “Naked Tokyo” Tokyo Atelier of Photography, Tokyo Japan

            “All Gurlz Show” Eclectix Gallery, El Cerrito, California

            “Fierce Fashion Show”, Eclectix Gallery, El Cerrito, California

 2008     "Photomontages”, Stanford Art Spaces, Stanford University

               "Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show 2008," Bloomington, Indiana

              "Love Will Bring Us Apart Again," Scion Installation LA, Culver City, California

              "Galex 42," Galesburg Civic Art Center, Galesburg, Illinois

              "Home Sweet Home," Wiseman Gallery, Grants Pass, Oregon

 2007    Midatlantic Gallery Arts Consortium, Perkasie, Pennsylvania

              2007 California Open Juried Show, Santa Monica,California

              Upstream People's Gallery Juried Abstract Show

             "Convergence of Five," Los Angeles, California

              Kinsey Institute Juried Show, Indiana

             "Beau and Eros II," Peninsula Museum of Art, Belmont, California

             "Abstractions, Color, and Texture, Aurora Color Gallery, Petaluma, California

             "Am I a Prisoner?" Wiseman Gallery, Grant's Pass, Oregon

              Red Dot Gallery, Los Angeles, California   

 2006   "Public Adress " Los Angeles, California

 

              "Codeblue," Los Angeles, California

 

              "Departures,"Los Angeles, California

 

             "Dreamworld," Los Angeles, California

             "America are we Drowning?" Los Angeles, California

             "Beau and Eros."  Peninsula Museum of Art, Belmont, California

             "Metroscapes,"  Los Angeles, California

             IPOP at Art Murmur Gallery, Los Angeles. California

             Digital Art Show, LACDA , Los Angeles, California

             "Get Yer Yayas Out," Eagle Rock, California

              Group Show, Cactus Gallery, Eagle Rock, California 

 2005   "Digital Women," Pasadena, California

              "Intramural," Long Beach, California

              Apart Book Launching Show, London, England

 2004    "Sharing Space V," NOHO, California

              Liquid City Show, Hollywood, California

              "40 x 40," a show in connection with Menopause the Musical

               Pacific Palisades Art Association. May Group Show

 2003    Art Show Opening. Start Soma Gallery, San Francisco, California

              "Inside," San Francisco, California

              Red Room Show, Venice, California

              "Four Cyclops Gallery Show," Los Angeles, California 

              "Valentines Day Show," Shatzi on Main, Venice, California

 2002    "Art Breakers," Venice, California

              "Dirty Girls", Ladyfest East, Brooklyn, New York

              "Art in Venice", Venice, California

              "Traveling Fine Arts Exhibition," Budapest, Hungary

­              "Weird Photos Exhibition," Greene County Council on the Arts, New York

              "12th Women's National Juried Art Exhibition," Juror: Nancy Farrell

 2001      Gallery 835, Los Angeles, California

                "Small Things," Santa Monica, California

 2000      E-Art," Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, Oregon

               "Digitally Propelled Ideas," Pomona, California Juror: Diane Fenster

                "Gallery Noir," Los Angeles, California

 1999      "New Media," Art Tech Gallery, San Jose, California 

               Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

                Brigham City Museum and Gallery, Brigham, Utah 

                "Automobile in Art," Long Beach Arts, Long Beach, California

                 Computer Art Exhibit, Valdosta State, Valdosta, Georgia

 1998      "Cypress 23rd Annual Juried Art Exhibition," Cypress, California

 1997      "In Search of the Self," Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado 

               "10th National Computer Art Invitational," Cheney, Washington

 1996      Saint Joseph's Medical Center, Burbank, California

                 Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

                 "Contemporary Landscapes," Long Beach, California

 1995      "Healing through Art," St Joseph's Hospital, Burbank, California


                Computer Art Exhibit, St. Louis Artists Guild, St. Louis, Missouri


                Computer Art Exhibit, Parkersburg Art Center, West Virginia

 

                "New Vision's, Culture and Agriculture," Marshfield, Wisconsin

                "American Culture, Empowerment/Exclusion," Santa Cruz, California 

                Art League, Santa Cruz, California

               "Art in the Hospital," Medical College of Georgia

               "Carte Blanche," City of Brea, California Juror: Dorrit Rawlins 

               "8th National Computer Art Invitational," Cheney, Washington

                "Computer Art Exhibit," Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho  

               "Computer Art Exhibit," Central Washington University

 1994     Nicolette Technical College Art Show, Rhinelander, Wisconsin   

               "Nat. Women's Competition," Littleton, Colorado              

              "7th Nat. Art Exhibition," South Cobb Arts Alliance, Mableton, Georgia

               "Off Beats," National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles, California                

               "Palos Verdes Art Center, California Juror: Henry Hopkins

               "Urban Arts Show," Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, California              

               "Current, Currency and Currents," Los Angeles, California

                "National Fine Art Competition," Cape Girardeau, Missouri    

                "Gallery Noir," Los Angeles,  CA

1994       National League of American Pen Women, Pacific Grove, Arkansas  

               ‘76 National Juried Exhibit," Eleventh Gallery, Wenatchee, Washington 

                "Twenty-First Annual Spring Exhibition," Galveston Art League

                Student Union Activities, Lawrence, Kansas 

                Dark's Art Parlor, Santa Ana, California

                "Computer Art Exhibit," U-Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama 

                "7th National Computer Art Invitational," Cheney, Washington

1993        "Urban Arts," Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, California

1977        LA Psychoanalytic Institute Art Show, Los Angeles, California

                "Festival des Arts," La Mirada, California

 

­­COLLECTORS

Dr. Gerald Aronson                        

Jesper Ingles

Leo Goldwin

Timothy and Stacy Stanley

Michael and Jillion Weisberg

Dr. Joshua Hoffs

Touradj J. Derangi

Kinsey Institue at University of Indiana

Juacque Adam Jacote de Boinod

Dr. Tracy Golden

Findlaw.com

Fructuoso Saenz

Dan Singleton

Lisa Oldenburger

Megan Naylor

Financial and Estate Planning, Inc.

David Young

Kathyrn Jayne

Recent Exhibits

Janna Stern participated in these exhibits:

Jun, 2014 I Heart LA
Jeanie Madsen
 
Nov, 2013 Discarted
Ojai Art Festival
 
Aug, 2013 FIGURES AND FACES
The Pacific Art League of Palo Alto
 
Sep, 2010 LUMINOUS LANDINGS Group Art Show
Flying Saucers Caffeine and Art Gallery
 
May, 2009 All-Gurlz Again
Eclectix Gallery
 
Mar, 2009 FASHIONISTAS!
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
 
Click here to see all exhibits for Janna Stern
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