I first came across Jenifer J. Renzel‘s assemblage art a number of years ago at Kaleid Gallery and was struck by the erie and magical worlds she created with bits of vintage ephemera and lots of imagination and sensitive handling of materials.
Not long after, I found this beautiful sample of her match box art at Three Sisters and scooped it up. I loved how she threaded the worm shell with red thread like an artery, a little cabinet of anatomical curiosities in a matter of square inches.
So call me a fan, I found her Facebook page and followed her, fascinated to see the wild creations pouring out of her studio. Delightful! But I didn’t even think of contacting her personally until I saw the crazy cute pictures of her cat Bon Bon hanging out in the studio.
So based on nothing more than how much I loved her work and studio (and now her cat) I sent Jenifer a message about painting her, having no idea what she actually looked like and she said yes! She graciously let me into her studio for the the photo shoot and I was thrilled to see her finished pieces, the work in progress, the masses of carefully categorized materials, and tools of the trade – drills, tweezers, glue and magnifying lenses. It was like wandering into a madhouse with thousands of little eyes on you.
Jenifer herself turns out to be compelling portrait material too! I think she comes across as very strong and direct and though I haven’t painted glasses yet I think they really work here to emphasize her eyes, her vision and their is a certainly an obvious resonance with the dolls eyes, a real staple in her work. So now I’m kind of torn between the warm and fuzzy shot of Jenifer and her cat and this dramatic one below that really focuses on her eye and kind of portrays her as the magician that she is.