Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Kaleidoscopic Treasures of Visual Artist Jen Stark

Jen Stark was born in Miami, Florida and now based in Los Angeles, California. She received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005, majoring in fibers with a minor in animation. Her artwork mimics intricate patterns and colors found in nature while exploring ideas of replication and infinity. Although Stark is most recognized for her paper sculptures, she has explored a variety of media including wood, metal, paint, plexi and animation.

Stark has exhibited globally with major shows in NYC, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Thailand and Canada. Her work is included in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the West Collection, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale and MOCA Miami among others. Stark recently completed a mural installation in the newly constructed Facebook building (designed by Frank Gehry). It is a 40,000-square-metre office building with “the largest open floor plan in the world” and is located just south of San Francisco in Menlo Park. The project was curated by the Facebook Artist in Residence Program.

The magnificently intricate and colorful kaleidoscopic artworks are formed ranging from wall pieces to stand alone sculptures, painted installations and animation. Stark’s kaleidoscopic artwork brings to mind fractals, rainbows, geodes and topographic maps. Stark’s ideas are based on replication and infinity as well as hypnotic, optical designs that mimic mandalas and sacred objects.

Her captivating sculptures can be traced back to a study abroad trip in the south of France, during which a declining dollar forced Jen to choose an affordable art medium with great potential. Using her vivid imagination and an X-acto knife, she is a modern day magician who transforms humble materials like construction paper and glue into fantastic, intricate sculptures that mesmerize the eye. She has applied her technicolor spin across a variety of media.

The works are created with hundreds of layers of color producing stunning and elaborate hand-cut paper layers, which are piled together in such a way that creates the brilliant rainbow design. Stark uses construction or acid-free colored paper and intricately cuts each sheet with an X-acto knife, layering the paper into a topographical landscape of color and bold shapes. The overlapping paper spiraling into a kaleidoscope of bursting color mesmerizes the viewer. The sensation of being drawn into the work and recognizing the depth of Stark’s creations is a very powerful feeling.

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