[Tucson, AZ / Santa Fe, NM ::: b. 1981]
JENNY DAY (b.1981) is a painter who divides her time between Tucson, Arizona and Santa Fe, New Mexico. She earned an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Arizona, a BFA in Painting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz. Her national and international exhibition record most recently includes Arte Laguna in Venice, Italy, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in Korea, Phoenix Art Museum, Blue Star Contemporary Museum in San Antonio, TX, Elmhurst Museum in Chicago, IL, Crocker Museum in Sacramento, CA, Florida State University Museum in Tallahassee, FL and Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, in New Orleans, LA. Day's work has been supported by an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant in 2018, a Contemporary Forum Artist Grant from the Phoenix Art Museum in 2017, a Barron Purchase Award in 2016 and through participation at the Ucross Foundation, the Jentel Foundation, Playa Foundation For The Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Art Center, and the Armory Art Center. Jenny Day is an exhibiting artist at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery.
I walked in the Mohave desert. Listened to the bees as they hummed and sucked from yellow creosote flowers. I watched the desert blur by as I drove eighty-miles per hour on I-40. I couldn’t hear the bees. The Mohave backdropped a science-fiction film I watched from my couch, the familiar recast as alien. I dreamt the desert, distorted, California pushed up against Florida, the swamp pouring in. I pulled up photos on my phone. Digital, long strings of binary, framed and backlit on the little screen, compiled with other places.
Which Mohave am I remembering?
The paintings acknowledge a distancing. The built environment as landscape, the landscape as a construct, the whole of the construct shattered by a fragmentation. A scattering of attention. The ruins of human intentions sunlit and wholly glorious in their decay. Abandoned or half-abandoned and remembered and recorded and replicated and distorted each step of the way.
The body of work skips like the dream. Fairbanks, Alaska blurs into California Superfund sites. Historical buildings I’ve walked through mate with Instagram photos. Hybridized places emerge, white space mimics the frames of our tiny machines. Pencil marks left in, masking tape, signal the painting as object, mediated, layers away from representation.
The paintings are created in longing, possibly mourning. Imagining an innocence of vision that might never have existed, rejecting it, recognizing the impossibility of an unaltered connection to place. The places are there still.