Our love letter to Jen Sanchez. (Shine on, you crazy diamond.)
Put your shades on, collectors: we’re shinin’ our Artist Spotlight on loooongtime 20x200 artist, color connoisseur, and plucky, foulmouthed pattern master Jennifer Sanchez.
A proud Lower East Sider and New York neighbor of ours, Sanchez’s art stands out. Geometry is her main muse. She draws inspiration from her surroundings, from Native American textiles, from Bauhaus queen Gunta Stölzl, and more. Of course, there’s also her colors: can’t-miss neons and bold brights are sorta Sanchez’s thing. Beyond that, her approach is free-wheeling at its finest. She starts with a general motif in mind, but never plans her art pieces in their entirety, letting the works evolve with her whims. That experimentation and spontaneity comes beaming through. Her electrically-hued pattern-dense paintings capture the vibrancy of the city, and her own unstoppable ebullience. This artist’s work ain’t for the faint of heart. It is energy epitomized.
Sanchez recently started a new series of paintings riffing on a style she’s delicately dubbed “pattern fuck” — which really gets the point across, doncha think? Instead of layering her geometric patterns one on top of the other, she’s been rubbing them up against each other. Their edges collide, asserting their individuality, entangled in a vigorous tango. The interplay of patterns amounts to something that feels like an endless tear-away reveal. There’s no clear beginning or end, and getting lost in the shapes and vivid shades is part of the pleasure of looking at these pieces.
Watching Sanchez create her color and pattern studies as she explores “pattern fuck” is also pure visual pleasure. She’s been filling her Instagram feed with time-lapse videos that capture her working on sketches, sussing out color concepts, and putting some freehand pattern ideas to the test for possible future paintings. Get a load of this video, or this one right here. These exercises offer her a little downtime from her more complex pattern-intense work, but after watching her process videos you’ll be hard pressed to believe the reprieve. We’re shook by the next-level patience and skill Sanchez must have when it comes to her more involved exhibition pieces. The time and meticulousness she puts into making her mesmerizing designs is jaw-dropping. But the juice is worth the squeeze — her art will bowl you over.
Next up, Sanchez is hustling on some public art projects. Murals are uncharted territory for the artist, but she’s always up for a challenge. Supercharged by her love for her hood, she recently proposed a geometric rainbow situation for the facade of an LES development in the Essex Crossing project, just 2-5 blocks south of her own home. Peep one of her process vids. She also applied for the LES Partnership’s Beautifying Barriers, a call for public art on seating infrastructure, and let us just say we would happily park our butts on one of her benches. Heck, we’ll take Sanchez’s art anywhere we can get it.
With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200
Sneak a peek at this process video Sanchez took while painting the above piece!
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