“In these two paintings, I explore the concept of duality, the contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something,” says recent Fine Arts grad Jennifer Lopez. The “something” in this dual canvas work created for her final thesis, is herself.
“I chose to showcase myself as how I believe others perceive me. The canvases, (which make up the diptych “Dualidad,”) are adorned with symbols that represent me,” she says. “I drew my inspiration from Frida Khalo with her flat busts of detailed facial features and nature and animals.”
School of Art and Design Dean Joseph Seipel, whose background is in fine arts and sculpture, noted without suggestion, the comparison of Lopez’s work to that of Frida Khalo’s.
“‘I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best'” Dean Seipel quotes from Frida Khalo as it relates to Lopez’s work.
Contrasted in her work, says Lopez “is a portrait of myself as a demonic entity, as Witchchrist, which I embody as a my artistic self.” There are hints of influences of other artists as well in Lopez’s work, such as Michael Hussar, David E. Rankore, and Blake Neubert.
“How courageous it is to look deep and find that inner-self that at times can be contradictory–sometimes scary and other times comforting” says Art and Design Dean Joseph Seipel. “Confronting and expressing that contradiction is difficult but empowering. Lopez’s paintings live in that world.”
As she prepared her thesis project, Lopez paid a visit to Anthony Santuoso‘s home and studio. “His conceptual art shows him as a character in his own rather surreal depictions of life. This was a huge inspiration,” she says.
Lopez found “there are multiple ways I can show who I am and where my style takes me. I have the ability to show people quite literally what I’m about or be a tad creepy and cryptic.”
Lopez’s work, says Fine Arts Professor Jean Fienberg, shows the range of students’ artistic expression. Their senior thesis project, “is an opportunity for each student to seek to express a very personal approach.”
Images used with permission.