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Jenny Sharaf | Studio Visit

San Francisco, CA

June 2014


Jenny Sharaf is a an artist born and raised in Los Angeles, currently living in San Francisco, CA. Through painting, video, works on paper, and installations, Sharaf explores the mythology of the California girl, the role of the female artist, and the image of the 21st century woman in order to illuminate the evolving generational shifts of feminism and contemporary notions of the gaze.
The depiction of female iconography in her work is layered, something between want, desire, pain, and exhibitionism. Working between figurative and abstraction, her imagery encompasses trashy reality media, sophisticated starlets, pop culture and abstract skin-referencing forms of bright color.
While examining the complexity of feminism’s legacy, Sharaf works with images that reflect on this loaded history and explores her niche within a generation of women who are disconnected from that struggle. As a California blonde herself, she maps a history of blondes in the media and adopts tropes of pop art, abstract expressionist painting and low-brow media.
She is also the founder of Gallery Daily, which bridges the gap between art and technology in the Bay Area.
SHOP ART by Jenny Sharaf

Photos by Hans Kwioteks.

Why do you create? 

I don't have a choice.  If I don't create, I go completely mad.

Where are you from and where do you live now? 

I am from Los Angeles and I currently live in San Francisco.

What is something people would be surprised to discover about you?

That I started by own company.

Did you have breakfast today?

Coffee and a piece of toast.  Not too healthy....

What kind of paint are you using these days? 

House paint and cheap craft paint from Michael's.

When do you make your best work?

Hard to say....when I'm having fun and being completely present with the paint.
The kind of moments that I completely loose track of time.

What is your favorite color?

Bright Yellow 

What is your favorite instrument?

Electric guitar.  Love when my dude plays for me.

What is your least favorite sound?

The sound of 'no'

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Peppermint chip.

What is the one thing you wouldn't eat?

I eat everything, but don't like cilantro. 

What is your happy place? 

Split decision between Russian River, CA and Hudson, NY.

What puts you to sleep at night?

Visualizing new projects.

What would you draw a lover? 

Nude portraits, of course.

Who are some of favorite artists?

John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Alice Neel, Lee Krasner, Maya Hayuk, Alicia McCarthy, Desiree Holman, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Francis, Lynda Benglis, Joan Brown, Frank Stella, Richard Artschwager.

Who is your hero?

All of the artists just mentioned.  Plus my mom:)