Each week Bushwick Daily brings you a new Artist FlashCard, introducing an amazing artist living/working/showing in Bushwick who you need to know. Featuring both new and old faces, our goal is to encourage the growth of the art scene and to appreciate wonderful talent in our hood! If you know of an artist you would like to suggest for Artist FlashCards, please fill out our online form.
Who: Jen Hitchings
Where: Up until a few days ago, you could catch Jen working away in her Johnson Ave studio, tucked behind Associated Gallery in The Active Space. Jen recently relocated her studio to the calmer studio space below Pierogi in Williamsburg.
What: Ethereal paintings that depict moments of quintessential contemporary life defused in layers of abstraction and color, where it is sometimes difficult to discern where the captured moment ends and the dreamscape begins. From the banal everyday to more significant, Jen’s compositions are defined by their ability to tap into the viewer’s own memories, loves, hopes, and fears, connecting us to a shared past with a narrative that we both can relate to, yet simultaneously feels distant.
Where You’ve Seen Her Work: Jen’s work has been featured in a number of Brooklyn galleries in the past few years, including Pierogi, The Active Space, and English Kills, with more recent solo endeavors at Outlet Fine Art (2012) and the now dearly departed Mama Joy’s. You can catch her work right now at Skylight Gallery in Chelsea in the group exhibition The Presence of Absence, curated by David Gibson.
Why We’re Into It: I was first struck by Jen’s work when I peaked into her studio after viewing an exhibition at Associated Gallery, the space that she co-curates with Julian Jimarez-Howard and Theresa Daddezio. Her studio was abuzz with color and I couldn’t even count all of the canvases in progress. Jen explained on a subsequent visit that she will often begin a project, abandon it, and then return to it at a different moment, giving many of her paintings a sense of energy and potential. Her works speak to our contemporary nature; she seeks to document and seize moments as we would wish to on our instagram or facebook albums, not discriminating between a moment of celebration at a rooftop party or a snapshot of a family Christmas tree.
A recent trend in her work is the inclusion of words that seem to appear in the scene, as if indistinguishable from the fabric of the setting. The word Loner enshrouds one and, rather than sitting on top of the scene, the words permeate the composition – it’s difficult to imagine the moment without them. Drenched in brilliant hues of a borderline psychedelic nature, Jen’s paintings are electric; the stuff that nostalgia for a hazy memory of a great night with friends, foes, and lovers, are made of.