|Janna Stern spent her formative years in a small mid-western town. It was within the confines of this pleasant rural experience that Stern developed a deep fascination with color, nature, and the beauty of simple objects. A family move to Los Angeles during Sternís adolescence provided fertile ground for artistic exploration and thought.
In her twenties, Stern experimented in toy making, assemblage, expressionism, and collage. This primordial exploration of the human form, nature, science and the rawness of experience was a search for the correct media to accurately portray her growing dissatisfaction with institutionalized concepts, theories, and cures for societyís maladies. The explosive advancement in computer technology since 1980 provides Stern with the creative tools she needs to work on her oeuvre.
Digital art has become the artistic synergy of Sternsí curiosity and creative endeavors. It is in this genre that Stern has firmly rooted herself as a deconstructionist.
Janna's comments on art and technique.
"Excessive structure and inflexibility are enemies of creativity. I want to express ideas in the purist form, unfettered by censorship. I develop my own techniques for combining found objects, photographs I took myself, and elements of the unconscious. I start with a primordial object that holds some interest or emotion for me. A construction develops usually in two dimensions. This allows me to choreograph a dance with the subject. Occasionally I work in three dimensions, but the computer allows me to do so many things to my nidus of material that I gravitate to it more often than not. There is such an intense pressure to do multiple operations on a subject that I literally can't perform them fast enough without the computer.
This need to manipulate every facet of each object, thought, or photograph and let it speak, even shout, is a driving force for my work. I try to visualize the painting as a song with a multitude of participants joining in a chorus of harmony or cacophony. Flooding the senses of the viewers is an essential part of reaching their unconscious and drawing them into participating in the work.
Even though most of my work now is done on a computer, it is still basically collage. Tattered corners, coffee stains, or surface decay all contribute to the final outcome. A piece of art, much like a person, is the totality of the experience of its ingredients.
My latest work uses mannequins. This is the result of a fascination with history the have carried on their backs and the future they will see. They offer no resistance to the forces imposed upon them except inflexibility. Thus they are a ground for society to view itself. I hope through their use in my work to give them a voice."