Jenna Pallio: “Perceptions of time, memory and the concept of “home” are the major themes that weave through my work.


By Marco Crispano

How and why did you start your career in art?


I’ve had an interest in art since being a young child, carrying my sketchbook with me almost everywhere. I majored in art in university and have been exploring materials, processes and the mediums ever since. After my undergraduate program in NYU I worked several years in a photography retouching studio in Manhattan and then switched to working teaching art to young children and focusing more on my own art.



How did you first get interested in your medium, and what draws you to use it?


My mediums vary from paint (all kinds) to smoke to wax and various other materials. The driving force behind this exploration is my interest in memory and nostalgia as well as living my daily existence between two cultures. I’m interested in the concealing and revealing of both imagery and materials to create my work.



Can you walk us through your process? How did you start creating your artwork? How long do you spend on one work? How do you know when it is finished?


This does depend on the materials I am exploring. But in general paintings and drawings are created through a removal technique. An area is coated with a certain material such as paint, wax or smoke and then I create the image by erasing from the surface. In this way, I am pulling away in order to create; going backwards in order to capture something concrete and familiar. The process reflects how memory functions in our lives. While certain memories disintegrate, it is the fragments that remain. The timeline of production ranges anywhere from several hours to several weeks.



What are the major themes in your work?


Perceptions of time, memory and the concept of “home” are the major themes that weave through my work. Over the past several years I have investigated this by employing photo based imagery, most recently presenting situations through fragmented scenarios. My process is significant to the conceptual framework of the work. I am an American descended of italian immigrants and I moved”back” to Italy 16 years ago. Laying roots in this culture has transformed my definition of “home” and this reflection is a constant consideration in my work.



Which are your favourite artists? Which ones are you inspired by?


There are so many artists to list but the first ones that come to mind are Anslem Keifer, Edward Hopper, Mona Hatoum, Janine Antoni, Gerhard Richter, William Kentridge, Eric Fischl and Luca Pancrazzi.


Name: Jenna Pallio
Residence: USA
Occupation: Painter