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Charlotta Janssen

b.1966
I was born in Maine to German parents living in America under the Marshall plan. In 1973, my family moved to Iran, which we fled during the revolution in 1979. Back in Germany, I studied painting at the University of Arts in Berlin from 1986-1989. I dropped out and travelled the world as a street musician and performance artist. In 1991, I picked up my brushes again and started organizing art shows wherever I travelled. 1995 I moved to New York. In 2000, I opened a restaurant to showcase my work in Brooklyn. In 2005, I started to narrow down my color spectrum to teal, white, black and rust. In 2009 I reintroduced collage and this element created a real conversation that keeps evolving.

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Artist Statement: PAINT, RUST, COLLAGE, GLAZE

I start the painting with a narrow color spectrum: teal, black white and a grey iron oxide. This spectrum shifts the moment I oxidize the finished work: the grey turns into rich orange brown tones I have no control of and spill into the other colors, pushing the blue towards green and staining the white as well as the black. This blue/green spectrum is where I am slightly color blind too: the aqua/teal is right on that blue/green cusp I am “impaired” or as I feel “empowered” with an unusual perspective and as I later found out close to the spectrum by which some severely color blind people see.

Once rusted I collage or better “retro-collage” the work by bringing bits and pieces of the original image pushed in colors. It is daunting to cover up one’s own hard earned strokes, but the conversation between the collage and the painting is too irresistible to stop. Then I glaze lightly with oil to bring back the overall contrast of lights and shadows.

My paintings are a “quilted” Americana: though figurative, I discreetly bring in abstract shapes without interrupting the figurative work – taking place with patches of collage. From a distance they may reminisce of “crazy quilts” or Gee’s Bend quilts, close up though they are clearly figurative.

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2020

72" x 60" / 182.9 x 152.4cm
Oil on Linen

Russian Fragility IV

44" x 76" / 111.8 x 193cm
Oil, Ink, Mixed Media on Panel

When Lightning Strikes

40" x 30" / 101.6 x 76.2cm
Oil and Beeswax on Canvas

Wet Dream

20" x 16" / 50.8 x 40.6cm
Oil on Wood Panel

Muhammad Ali 5th Street Gym

65" x 47" / 165.1 x 119.4cm
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas

Summer in New York

33.5" x 45.25" / 85.1 x 114.9cm
Oil on Linen Canvas

Penthouse in Upper East Side

23.5" x 47.25" / 59.7 x 120cm
Oil on Linen Canvas

Corner Building on Prince Street

23.5" x 49" / 59.7 x 124.5cm
Oil on Linen Canvas

Building in the Sun

23.5" x 43.25" / 59.7 x 109.9cm
Oil on Linen Canvas

Russian Fragility III

69" x 39" / 175.3 x 99.1cm
Oil, Ink, Mixed Media on Panel

Hoedje van Papier (Paper Hat)

11" x 11" / 27.9 x 27.9cm
Acrylic on Wood

Ominous Front

16" x 20" / 40.6 x 50.8cm
Oil on Canvas

Eye of the Storm

24" x 36" / 61 x 91.4cm
Oil on Linen

Edge of Light

36" x 48" / 91.4 x 121.9cm
Oil on Linen on Panel

Doughnut Cheerleader

36" x 24" / 91.4 x 61cm
Oil on Wood Panel

Dandelion

44" x 34" / 111.8 x 86.4cm
Oil on Wood Panel

Eden, Study for the Way

16" x 20" / 40.6 x 50.8cm
Oil on Panel

Gilt

51" x 74" / 129.5 x 188cm
Oil on Linen

Dust Up

90" x 60" / 228.6 x 152.4cm
Oil on Linen

Nocturne – Limited Edition Signed Print

30 x 24 in, 76.2 x 61 cm

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Loepje

5.875" x 6.625" / 14.9 x 16.8cm
Acrylic on Wood

Spyglass

7.75" x 11" / 19.7 x 27.9cm
Acrylic on Wood

Training School

40" x 30" / 101.6 x 76.2cm
Oil and Beeswax on Canvas

Falling in My Dream

60" x 48" / 152.4 x 121.9cm
Oil on Linen

Lavender Sister

24" x 18" / 61 x 45.7cm
Oil on Linen

Blue Sister

24" x 18" / 61 x 45.7cm
Oil on Linen

Nakedness Has No Color and Knows No Border

82" x 70" / 208.3 x 177.8cm
Oil on Linen

The Irresistible Force Paradox

47.125" x 78.625" / 119.7 x 199.7cm
Oil on Linen

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