Duran Mashaal, Montreal
Jen Mann b. 1987 is a Canadian artist from Toronto Canada. Mann Graduated OCAD U in 2009 with her BFA, she lives and works in Toronto.
Mann has recently published a book titled “Endless quest for my- self(ie)” is 200-page hardcover book includes paintings, drawings, photos, poetry, short stories, one-liners and notes to self.Mann is the winner of the 2015 Kingston Prize, a $20,000 Canadian national award for portraiture. She is also the recipient of two Emerging artist grants from the Ontario arts council. Mann has been included in books such as Juxtapoz “hyperreal” and numerous magazine features and interviews, including art maze mag (cover feature) in spring-summer 2017, Juxtapoz Dec 2014 issue, and Create Mag. Mann has been featured on Vice Daily, also a National CIBC commercial and campaign throughout Canada, and been the subject of a film by filmmaker Cameron Bryson in a Documentary titled “the self-practice” with over 100k views on Vimeo.
Mann’s work focuses on themes of identity in a digital age. As a millennial, she addresses problems faced by this generation and our society as a whole. In the society of “me”, where we document ourselves like celebrities and share our lives online for everyone, the self is a prevalent and important topic to our generation. Our identities are curated like our online profiles to reflect only the parts of ourselves we chose to keep alive. Who am I? Who are you? What does my life mean? Why am I alive? Mann’s work aims to address these very elusive questions, and explore, but not necessarily answer all of them. She wants to know what relationships mean with social media permeating our lives, and the effects of technology on our personal interactions and state of wellbeing. often using popular culture imagery through her slick and saturated paintings, Mann evokes a sense of happiness on the surface with all of the trappings of advertisements, whereas the content of the imagery leaves the viewer unsettled. asking us questions about how we behave, and how we understand ourselves, life, and those around us. Mann uses herself in her work a lot, and uses self satire as a mode to address complex issues and questions.
Information on Presented Works:
In her newest series of paintings, Mann is exploring how we under- stand the identities of the people we are closest to, the people we live with, and how we abstract them from who they are as we internally meld them with ourselves, and our own identities. exploring how we never truly see the other person for who they are, but instead we see what we have created in our minds, the version of them that we want to see. is abstraction and obsession runs through the work where the subject (her partner) is continually being obscured from view, Mann’s hair covering and enveloping him, text over the image reads “you are not me, you are not mine, but somehow we are one.” the text almost blends into the image like the two figures merging together. Each image a digital manipulation, altering, and abstract- ing him as she draws over his face in some instances, and in another image light blows out the subject where only certain parts are visible. is series a next step in Mann’s continued foray into identity, self and now what is ‘other’.