Like the Libra she is, Jen Bissu’s art hinges on the idea of balance. Balance: the combinative results of Nature & Nurture, the spectral contrasts between white & black, and, of
course, the never-ending battle between Good & Evil. For Jen, while every moment in life is unique in its own multi-faceted ways, every moment also repeats general patterns and
trends found throughout history. Jen’s paintings straddle the psychological line between these two discerning perspectives.
Within any single piece of her artwork, the viewer will find harsh and gentle strokes, a profusion and restraint of color, and multiple detailed focal points, all speaking to a narrative
power held within the maelstrom of Jen’s core belief system. She explains, “The idea is to take my audiences by initial surprise with how much material can be found in my
paintings, and then keep their feet planted by nudging their minds into many different directions so as to stimulate the imagination.” To inspire enduring conversation about the
human condition is a goal Jen strives to achieve through her work.
Jen gathers the rich imagery for her paintings from where she lives–the New York metro area–and historical annals. “Melding the past with the present, I believe, uniquely
accentuates a timeless quality in my work. In having multiple time periods side by side, my art blurs any focus with the theme of time.” She explains why she specifically chooses
New York as a resource for endless material: “No other place on the planet possesses such unique images within the confines of its cityscape. Other cities have tried, but none can
compare. Other locales have one, two, or several landmarks that are globally recognized; but here, here in New York we have so many universally famous landmarks that the list is
incredibly extensive. And for that, I am grateful to have New York as my hometown.” Also, in providing visuals of bygone eras, Jen’s material brings to her viewers an ocular
richness that may have been forgotten or completely unknown in their minds: “Not only the subtleties, but much of the best-known visual trends from the past seem to be forgotten
entirely unless there’s a purposeful push to bring them back. As the decades recede, their tangible experiences–clothing, print, film, architecture, etc.–have less opportunity to be
known and understood.” Bringing together the images of the past with those of the present provide for a “…potent mix, indeed.”
On what the viewer can expect from her work: “I have a lot to say, and I naturally express myself through my art. Each piece delivers multiple messages found on different levels.
Look at the characters, the back and foregrounds, the lighting, the color scheme, the brush strokes, the composition, the angles, the body language. Look at it up-close and from a
distance. Every inch stands on its own or supports a greater whole. You walk away with finality with something definite held in your mind; yet when you come back, you find
yourself intrigued because you see the piece in a whole new light. That power of the mind is what underlies my work.”
A picture can say a thousand words. What if a picture can tell a thousand tales? Jen Bissu’s art does that.
Ms. Bissu has been crafting stories from her pencil and brush for two decades now. Her mediums span the spectrum–from oil and acrylic, watercolor and gouache, to charcoal and
graphite. Her themes traverse the terrain: portraits, landscape, pin-up, retro, and the Roaring ‘20s, to list a few.
Jen’s career hails from the heart of the New York metropolitan area. From that cultural epicenter, her works have spanned the globe. Her pieces have been displayed from Hawaii to
Hamburg, San Diego to Dubai.
And the reviewers rave. “The transmission of emotion is truly radiant in her work. Powerful delivery!” exclaims Walter Prosper, logistical coordinator for music legend Little
Richard, and famed automotive custom designer. Joe Petruccio, the Official Artist for Elvis Presley Enterprises, states, “Jen Bissu’s works bring a smile to my face and bring me
back to a day when there was glamour in the most simple of things. She is an artist definitely worth following and collecting.”
Jen’s international audience has connected with her varied works, and her influencers are just as wide: Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell, Jack Kerouac, Elia Kazan, Andrew
Wyeth, Egon Schiele. From them and others, she has brought to her art: vividness, realism, spontaneity, grittiness, isolation, tension. Many have also described her art as:
“cosmopolitan”, “urbane”, “striking”, and “memorable”.
Growing up a girl from New Jersey on the banks of the historic Hudson River, America’s art capital directed her formative years and consequently molded her into a mature,
talented artist. Museum trips, gallery showings, art classes, and the like, were numerous and craved–developing the intellectual, esoteric underpinnings of her work. Sketch sales in
the Chrysler Building’s lobby, observations of the streets‘ shambling homeless, Central Park summers, and the hustle & bustle from subways to dockyards, provided the sharp,
original, hands-on narratives that bring her pieces to life.
At age nine, Jen’s art education gained formality. She studied at several well-known art schools, including: the United Nations International School, the Art Students League, the
School of Visual Arts (SVA), and the Pratt Institute. Her talent and passion drove her to Summa Cum Laude status with a B.F.A. in Visual Communications/Illustration, and an M.A.
in Fine Art Education, from Kean University.
From then on, Jen’s dreams have been as lofty as Midtown’s skyscrapers and her ambitions as high as their penthouse suites. Her schedule requires appointments weeks in
advance to procure a commission, her exhibitions are packed with patrons, and her speaking engagements grow more numerous by the month. “Keep an eye on this stunning
starlet, she’s definitely going places,” proclaims film director, Karl Petry…hard to disagree with that assessment.
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