Jenny Dubnau: Interview

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Jennifer Samet interviews painter Jenny Dubnau about her work.

Dubnau comments that "there is so much editing when it comes to making any realist painting. The challenge lies in making a kind of poetry about the way things really are without straying too far. I don’t change the color or the details too radically; I hew closer to the truth, although I guess it’s all a lie anyway. At a certain point, I learned that the more resemblance to the actual person, the better my painting is. The more verisimilitude, the edgier the painting seems. Whenever I try to stray furthest from what was actually there, it doesn’t seem right.. I think in the contemporary art-world there’s a much-discussed suspicion of what we call 'skill' when it comes to contemporary painting, particularly realist painting. I find that to be a problem, because terrific art can look loose, tight, careful, or sloppy: there’s no one 'legitimate' style. Some people still project the whole history of academic painting onto representational painting made today. But sometimes, you look at representational painting and realize it is haunted by nothing, and that’s really exciting to me."

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