November 07, 2019

Gallery Jones, Vancouver


"Jen Mann, an artist from Toronto with her first solo exhibition at Gallery Jones, is diving deep into the culture of celebrity, social media and constructed personas. Through a variety of medium (film, sculpture and primarily painting), Mann is employing the masking tools available in this hyper-self-conscious age to question perception and ideas of identity. With herself as the subject, obfuscated by luminescent layers of distraction such as glossy wigs, theatrical make-up and the text of magazine covers, Mann is also challenging our definition of real as it relates to the self.


Since graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2009, Mann has developed a dichotomy in her artistic practice between form and content. She paints meticulously rendered, hyper-realistic canvases whose subject matter is populated by the look and feel of a generation that rapaciously consumes and discards imagery and content. The juxtaposition of an expertly executed and seriously considered self-portrait involving emoji stickers haphazardly applied to the face speaks to an existential condition: how do we know ourselves, and one another, when our means of communication are virtual?


At times self-deprecatingly funny, beautifully poignant and emotionally raw, the collective work presents a well-curated and highly polished satire of what goes into how we want to be seen. Taken as a whole, the exhibition is a meta-fiction of an art star. There are movie trailers for movies that don’t exist, posters for those movies, paintings of paintings hanging in a gallery (that are also stills from the movies) and 4’ x 3’ paintings of magazine covers featuring Mann as the elusive ingénue, artistic genius, millennial poster child or fallen icon. Mann’s impressive artistic abilities are on full display in this exhibition that is in many ways a portrait of our time and an ode to the timelessness of self-reflection and aggrandizement."


July 09, 2019

Arsham Fieg Gallery - NYC

Referencing clowns and masks Mann looks at how we hide or share our emotions in these new works which explore social anxiety. Unsettling and saccharine colored, these images depict an intangible disconnect from social intimacy. Inspired by emojis and social media 'Send pix' is a dark but comical look at modern communication. 


September 13, 2018

Duran Mashaal Gallery in Montreal

In her newest series of paintings, Mann is exploring how we understand 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’.


March 07, 2018

Mann will be showing at Volta in NYC with Duran Mashaal Gallery. VOLTA is from March 7 - 11 2018. Mann will be in attendance. 

Sweet Nothing

October 15, 2016

Sweet Nothing documents a coming of age tale through Mann’s personal views of identity and self. Mann's dry and self-satirical humor is a unifying force weaving the dream-like paintings together. Primarily working with a pallet of vibrant peach and pink tones, Mann references nostalgia, pop culture and familiar symbols to address societies hypocritical and flawed projections of love and desire




November 14, 2014

Who am I? Who are you? What does my life mean? Why am I alive? – these complex questions are explored in Jen Mann‘s new series of works entitled Q&A; a collection of visual metaphors exploring identity, existence, relationships, life and death.

Each image is an exploration into existence, often expressed through a pun or play on words, in a visual narrative, that draws on popular culture as a from of communicating complex thoughts in an informal way. Mann looks deeply at identity and relationships, and how we understand others through understanding ourselves.


Strange Beauties

February 15, 2013

Inspired by the circus, illusions, dreams and the innocence and playfulness of childhood, Strange Beauties explores beauty and its fringes. Capturing sincere moments between Mann and her subjects, the paintings in this exhibition evoke a naïve and unfiltered sense of beauty akin to that experienced in childhood. Using colour and saturation to foreground elegant and alluring elements in otherwise odd and unglamourous images, Mann captures the world through “rose-coloured glasses.” An intense stare, a blink, a sideways glance—and in some works, the collision of these gestures—create a deep sense of intimacy and honesty amidst the surreal images.


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