The Drawers - Jenny Laden   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Bona Fide

She has found a way to kiss herself.

Peeling back the layers of narcissism, unlike Caravaggio's entranced boy imprisoned in stasis by the wonder of his own reflection, Jenny Laden has decided to become actively involved. The impish big-eyed girl glances from under a scathingly raised brow and throws out the challenge to admit her, despite her flaws and foibles barely covered by the circus scrim of a green face mask. Jenny has been staring herself down and always coming up the victor. There's attitude behind this spunky face.

The multi-dimensionality caused by the overlays of Mylar either yields an x-ray or background to the elfin women. The loose water color, dripping to the call of gravity plays up the sensation of an innocent pathos like tears or damp hair, an adolescent crisis rather than an emergency. The frail medium encompasses the gamut of a runaway condition where the adventure is well worth the minor discomforts.
Imagine the process. A committed confrontation with the self. It is the grit of philosophical inquiry, the turn around when the ego meets the ID. Her persistent visual meditation is like the Buddhist who becomes complete through the contemplation of her belly button as the energy is circulating outwards from the artist and then back from the artist into the piece. By exploring the concept of self reflection, a child of the artist is born, another generation created from her will and her need to procreate. Jenny contemplated Jenny and made for herself a friend - an invented likeness, a self portrait.

The outcome of this self-generation has recently become a new being, the big-eyed offspring of a pregnant and self centered process. This is more a fairy girl than real. It is more in tune with animation where the bodies in proportion to the heads are slighter as if they are swelling with magnificent ideas. Laden has left behind the wispy hair of her mirrored image and piled a lush, ornate, aristocratic hair-do on the expanded head of her newest creation. Yet there is still a resemblance as the bellies swell and a prenatal germination becomes physically apparent.

Copyright 2007,  Julie Oakes