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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.

Watch Charlotta on Oprah

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.

Curriculum Vitae

EDUCATION
 
1987-1989

University of the Arts (HDK)
Berlin, Germany

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
 
2014

Threads of a Story: History Inspiring Art
National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee
Curated by Barbara Andrews

2013

Threads of a Story: History Inspiring Art
National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee
Curated by Barbara Andrews
Threads of a Story: History Inspiring Art
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atrium Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia

2012

The Day Bayard Rustin Came to Town
Memphis Public Library, Goodwyn Gallery, Memphis, Tennessee
Curated by Wang-Ying Glasgow
Freedom Riders: Threads of a Story
Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Threads of a Story: Continued
Gallery on High, Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Curated by Erika Hornburg-Cooper
Danke Fred Series
John Davis Gallery, Hudson, New York
Freedom Riders: Threads of a Story
The African American Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Threads of a Story: History Inspiring Art
Troy University Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery, Alabama
Curated by Georgette M. Norman

2011

Freedom Riders
Playmakers Theatre, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Threads of a Story: History Inspiring Art
Nashville Public Library Courtyard Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee
Curated by Elyse Adler
Freedom Riders
WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts
Curated by Germaine Frechette

2010

Freedom Riders
Mountain Film Festival, Aha School of Art, Telluride, Colorado
Curated by Barbel Hacke
Freedom Riders and Bus Boycotters
President’s Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, New York
Curated by Lisa Farrington

2009

Can’t Live the Commonest Way on Six Bits a Day
NYSG Gallery, New York, New York
Inappropriately Dressed
Boltax Gallery, Shelter Island, Long Island, New York
Americana and Recent Works
Bridge Art Fair, New York, New York

2008

Americana
Bread, New York, New York
Annals of America
Gloria Kennedy Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
Americana
Gloria Kennedy Gallery, Brooklyn, New York

2007

Americana
The Stairwell, Brooklyn, New York

2006

Recent Works
East West Gallery, Milano, Italy

2002

Cocoa Cultures
The Boathouse in Central Park, New York, New York

2001

Twisted Bag Mouths, Knifethrust Eyes and Legs, Legs, Legs: “Anyway Let’s Dance!”
Paris NY Studio, New York, New York

2000

Anyway Let’s Dance
Paris NY Studio, New York, New York

1999

Carnivores, Kitchen Cowboys & Dirty Dishes
Paris NY Studio, New York, New York

1998

Bitch Icons, Freak Fables & Lucid Two Faced Smiles
Paris NY Studio, New York, New York

1996

Sailors, Drunkards, & Prostitutes….
Bell Café, New York, New York

1995

The Red Door — It Was Once Red
La Voile Rouge, Miami Beach, Florida

1994

Miami Twilight Zone: Warming Up The Atmosphere
Miami Beach, Florida

1993

Old World / New World
Tresor, Berlin, Germany

1992

Big Foot in Blue Door
Artist Incubator, Tokyo, Japan
Charlotta Janssen
Café de La Poste, Paris, France

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
 
2012

Resurrected Walt Cessna
MUNCH Gallery, New York, New York

2011

Mountain Film Festival
Telluride Gallery of Fine Arts, Telluride, Colorado
Prints and Paintings
Bowery Beef and Lounge, New York, New York
Triumph, Ritual, and Remembrance: SONY Artists Celebrate Black History Month
Tillies of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, New York

2009

Fountain Art Fair
Art Basel, Boltax Gallery, Miami, Florida

2007

Art London
Simon Sieff Gallery, London, England
East West Art
Stragapede, Perini Gallery, Milano, Italy

2006

Recent Work
East West Gallery, Milano, Italy

2003

Shanghai Spring Art Salon
Commerce Center, Shanghai, China

1999

Gate To Berlin
Zionskirche, Berlin, Germany

1997

Brainthang
Thread Waxing Space, New York, New York
Not the Biennial
New York, New York

1995

Biennial
New York, New York

LECTURES / GALLERY TALKS
 
2012

Freedom Riders: Democracy in Action Community Event (lecture)
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Facing History and Ourselves (lecture)
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

2011

Nashville Public Library Courtyard Gallery (gallery talk), Nashville, Tennessee

2010

President’s Gallery (gallery talk), John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, New York

2009

Boltax Gallery (gallery talk), Shelter Island, Long Island, New York

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Artist
Style
Medium
Price
Size

Shadow of the Seventh

32" x 32" / 81.3 x 81.3cm
Oil on Aluminum Panel

Hope and Reckoning

28" x 40" / 71.1 x 101.6cm
Oil on Aluminum Panel

Aurelia’s Relic

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

King Neto

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

With or Without II

48" x 48" / 121.9 x 121.9cm
Oil on Canvas

Man with a Golden Mustache

14" x 11" / 35.6 x 27.9cm
Oil on Panel

Red

10" x 8" / 25.4 x 20.3cm
Oil on Panel

T.H.O.T. (That Hoe Over There)

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

El Nanego

23" x 17" / 58.4 x 43.2cm
Oil on Linen

Iyawo

22.7" x 16" / 57.7 x 40.6cm
Oil on Linen

The Abduction

84" x 78" / 213.4 x 198.1cm
Oil on Linen

The Daughters of Atlantis: The Decompression Chamber

52" x 42" / 132.1 x 106.7cm
Oil and Beeswax on Canvas

Vitality

26" x 22" / 66 x 55.9cm
Oil and Beeswax on Canvas

A Fine Flutter

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

Power

82" x 74" / 208.3 x 188cm
Oil on Linen

Draw the Line

48" x 36" / 121.9 x 91.4cm
Oil on Canvas

Whispered

15.5" x 11.75" / 39.4 x 29.8cm
Oil on Board

Lithe

19.5" x 15.5" / 49.5 x 39.4cm
Oil on Board

Feel Her Own Shadow

19.5" x 15.5" / 49.5 x 39.4cm
Oil on Board

Chrysalis

17.25" x 11.75" / 43.8 x 29.8cm
Oil on Board

By Her Side

15.5" x 11.75" / 39.4 x 29.8cm
Oil on Board

Bloom

45.25" x 35.25" / 114.9 x 89.5cm
Oil on Board

Summer

7.75" x 9.75" / 19.7 x 24.8cm
Acrylic on Wood

Little Hero

11.75" x 9" / 29.8 x 22.9cm
Acrylic on Wood

Ghost Fugue

18" x 18" / 45.7 x 45.7cm
Oil and 24K Gold Leaf on Birch Panel

Fives

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

Warrior of Peace

40" x 40" / 101.6 x 101.6cm
Oil on Canvas

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