Janie Samuels was born in Canandaigua, NY. She received her BA from Bennington College, Vermont, after having returned from studying a year in Southern France. She returned to France to live and paint, moving to New York City a year later. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York.
She has had four solo exhibitions, the most recent at Artspace in Richmond, Virginia, 2009 .
She has been in over 70 group exhibitions in the United States and Southern France She participates in group exhibitions regularly at BWAC, Brooklyn, NY. She is a member of the Gowanus Artist, South Slope Artists, and Park Slope Windsor Terrace Artist Organizations.
From 1989 to 1994, she designed and built the sets and co-produced several plays written by her husband, Evan Gubernick, for Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway venues.
She had worked as Nancy Graves’s assistant from 1988 to 1994, at which time Graves passed away. Janie was the Studio Director until late 1996 when the Nancy Graves Foundation was established. She continued at the foundation for several years, at which point she was offered a position as Chuck Close’s Studio Manager. After seven years, she resigned her position in order to focus her attention fully on her own art career.
In discussing her oeuvre, Samuels describes her work as being simultaneously political and personal, universal and intimate. Her subject is inspired by political or moral concerns. The images, although derived from the media and personal photos, are intended to resonate on a more substantive level. Technically, she is interested in how color, pattern, line and form break down abstractly and how she can manipulate them to create cohesive expressive qualities, such as rhythm and movement. She uses line and color so that the image works narratively and abstractly, and that the canvas has an intrinsic balance.
The videos that have developed as an outgrowth from the paintings are a result of the overwhelming desire to have the paintings breathe, to create a sense of movement, and of life. This was originally the motivation for making a video of the progression of the painting from its beginning to completion, a kind of flip book. For the observer, the movie acts as an insight into the artist’s choices. It becomes experiential and offers the observer an opportunity to see the evolution of the work. The videos are intended to be mounted on the wall and to play alongside the hung painting.
The photographic gel transfer and oil on panel works are landscapes both urban and rural, an intimate portrait from every day life. The photographs are manipulated in Photoshop, printed and transferred to panels, absorbed by the gel medium and the remaining paper stripped away. The panels are then painted.
You can view her videos at: vimeo.com/2986003
You can contact her: [email protected]