Harryet Candee: Your creative voice was extraordinary at a very young age. You saw odd things, and your curiosity led you on a search to explore. Now you have created artwork that is a result of all that, tell us, what in particular launched your fascination with nature and religion?
Jane Gennaro: As little kids, we’re closer to the ground. You lie on your stomach with your nose in the grass; pick up a stone with stripes or a rock that looks like it’s made out of diamonds! See a pink worm squiggling out of that deep, rich black earth, dare to touch it, and – Surprise! It curls up on itself!
In May at TSL in Hudson, the remarkably inventive and prodigious Jane Gennaro displayed a series of complex miniature constructions, composed of both natural and manufactured elements, contained within glass cloche domes sitting on a variety of stone, metal and wooden bases, guarding and separating them from the viewer, and thus turning the experience of space inside out. Their contents (entire desiccated dead animals or merely their bones mounted on a range of unlikely supports, or simply floating in transparent preservative) constitute personal totems that reflect the narrative element that pervades Gennaro’s work. At the other end of the scale, she dazzles us with a massive pillar of clear and colored glass fragments that hangs like a smashed up chandelier but likewise screams “Don’t touch me!”
By John Isaacs
The M Magazine
“Gennaro’s highly imaginative, inventive art flows from a consciousness of the unity of all forms of life on the planet. She follows her muse, Joseph Cornell, in making narrative theatrical works imbued with a sense of mystery.”
By Mary Hrbacek
Gennaro’s “work is a melding of sweet and creepy, with a quality of innocence under duress. The found images of children and nature at times visually rhyme with the remains of living things. The result is like a narrative that seems both strange and familiar, just beyond the literal retelling of a story.”
“Jane Gennaro’s art speaks to that unknowable quest that lies at the heart of every collector. She reminds me of an aristocrat explorer gathering bugs, flora and animal parts from far flung places (in her case, nooks and crannies of the New York Subway and the bucolic hills of upstate New York). Cabinets overflow with personal artifacts and spare rooms are used to stage vignettes depicting cycles of life, death, recovery, and rebirth. I have stepped into a world steeped in adventure, humility and playful self discovery through the gathering of symbolic objects. Together they create a language, and from there a story, not yet complete.”
By Sandra Botnen
“Gennaro can’t easily be labeled as an artist of a specific genre, with her versatility extending across disparate media as a writer, performer, voice-over artist, cartoonist, illustrator, and sculptor. In the end, it’s consummate storytelling that unifies Gennaro’s work across these different spheres.”