100 Creatives 2013: Jenn Fox, Mixed Media and Mania
What She Does: It's very hard to describe Jenn Fox's work because it's like snagging pink elephants out of a hallucination, but I'll give it a shot. By trade she's a mixed media artist who works with sculptures, paintings, and collages to create strange narrative works that though static, seem to move like a freakin' Bakshi cartoon.
It's not comfortable work. Fox has a strange aversion to the human face, with many of her subjects peering out of a fog, turned away from the viewer, or featuring little more than the suggestion of expression. Even when her subjects face full front they often have closed eyes. It allows for a fair bit of projection from a the viewer, but also suggests a strange loss of identity when place in her swirling, muddy backgrounds or amidst her slightly surreal photography collages.
The result is literally like being in someone else's dream, and that may be the best way to look at what Fox does. She always had a healthy appreciation for art, but a lack of any real early training convinced her it was a pipe dream. Eventually she decided to set out on her unique path, and she took a very literal approach to creation. Fox typically spends days writing poems and stories about her pieces before launching herself into the studio to get her hands dirty. That tiny touch of multi-faceted obsession is what lends such depth to the final product.
What Inspires Her: Dichotomy is a big part of Fox's work, awake and asleep, black and white, and most of all good an evil. She says that the millions of choices we make in the face of conflict is a driving force behind what inspires her creations. The null space between decision is where her particular flower grows best.
Edge Of A Dream
Artistically she looks up to Kiefer, Rauschenberg, Burchfield, Michael Roque Collins, and her husband Taylor Brown.
If Not Here, Then Where: "I love Houston! I am a sucker for sunsets, and I don't think they get much better than in Texas. There is something nostalgic to me about the color of the sky during the summer and the sound of cicadas that I haven't experienced anywhere else. If I were to move I would love to live in the mountains around more diverse wildlife than the raccoons that live under our apartment.
If Not This, Then What: "If I couldn't paint I have NO idea what I would do. I love to garden. Maybe I would start a little farm and spend all day outside! Although that may happen if we ever move out of Montrose and get a little more yard space."
What's Next: Fox is keeping on keeping on showing in galleries all over the country, which seems like a good plan. Right now she's working with Sojourn Heights as Artist in Residence.
More Creatives for 2013
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Shohei Iwahama, dancer
Erica DelGardo, metalsmith
Bob Clark, executive director Houston Family Arts Center
Kerrelyn Sparks, bestselling romance author
Lindsay Halpin, punk rock mad hatter
Drake Simpson, actor
Shelby Carter, Playboy model turned photographer
David Matranga, actor
Crystal Belcher, pole dancer
Daniel Kramer, photographer
Blue 130, pin-up explosion art
Nina Godiwalla, author and TED speaker
David Wilhem, light painter
Tom Abrahams, author and newscaster
Browncoat, pin-up pop artist
Kris Becker, Nu-Classical composer and pianist
Vincent Fink, science fashion
Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Senorita Cinema founder
Ned Gayle, thrift store painting defacer
Sameera Faridi, fashion designer
Greg Ruhe, The Human Puppet
Sophia L. Torres, founder and co-artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company
Maggie Lasher, dance professor and artistic director
Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre
Outspoken Bean, performance poet
Barry Moore, architect
Josh Montoute, mobile gaming specialist
Ty Doran, young actor
Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate
Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet
Justin Garcia, artist
Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center
Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric
Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician
Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse
Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company
Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography
Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions
Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover
Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist
Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer
Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker
Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer
David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer
Danielle Burns, art curator
Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder
Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator
Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker
Amanda Stevens, scary book author
Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger
Ana MarÃa Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach
Billy D. Washington, comedian
Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer
Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer
Kelly Sears, animator and film maker
Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director
jhon r. stronks,dance-maker
Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer
Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer