|"Handmaiden Mitten" 22" x 30" oil monotype, cut paper collage and drawing 2011|
|"You Choose the Ghost" 48" x 56" oil on canvas 2008|
|"What Remains Unsaid" 72" x 144" oil on canvas 2008|
|"For the Love of Birdsong and Incredible Heights" 28" x 36" oil on canvas 2008|
|"Circus Rejects Under the Tanglewood Tree" 72" x 84" oil on canvas 2007|
Jennifer Meanley's work immediately reminds me of some of the greatest artists of the early modern era. I see hints of Max Beckmann, Egon Schiele, Paul Gauguin and a long parade of others. I've often felt that the work of such artists promised many paths which have been left unexplored. Well, here's one artist who has seen the same promise and dedicated herself to following it through. The results are spectacular. There is no clear single narrative that can be easily applied to these works. If they are narrative at all, it is the dreamlike narratives of a fevered mind that roils with imagery. Certain images and themes return again and again, as if to punctuate their deeply rooted import, but the nature of that importance remains uncertain. This creates a tension for the viewer, who struggles to make sense of it all. And that struggle is the whole point. These images of human beings, animals, lush vegetation and the kaleidescopic world of colors and textures that they inhabit, do not necessarily "Mean" something. Art does not always convey answers. At it's best it asks questions, just as we continually ask questions of ourselves. After all, what does your life mean? Maybe you think you have an answer. Or maybe not. But what truly matters is asking the question. Again, and again, and again.
You can see much much more and a tremendous variety to boot at her website:
or on her Flickr page.