OSA Artist Residency Program
Natasha Jabre is a representational painter whose work in still life and portrait submits a surreal revisioning of everyday life. She received her B.F.A. from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and her M.F.A. from The University of Massachusetts in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Her artwork has recently been exhibited in Canada and the United States, as well as in a host of international locations including Berlin, Italy, Lebanon, and Spain. She currently resides in Kingston, Ontario.
Each work in my series develops as an intimate exploration into color, which I isolate from prepared photographic materials and flesh out through sequential glazes of paint. The result is the creation of a tableau whose posed image is simultaneously intensified and counterbalanced by optical abstraction. To my eyes, this uncanny mixture of unassuming source material, tender brushstrokes, and surreal lighting draws to the surface mixed feelings of guilt and affectionate longing. My work is about instigating moments of dreamlike reverie in banal scenes of children and their playthings, and, in doing so, present to viewers what I believe to be the central conundrum of parenting: how the sight of one’s child remains bewitching in spite of the dull and deadening process of raising them.
The work presented in this gallery is the end result of a two-week artist in residency program I completed at the Ottawa School of Art. My goal entering into the program was to see whether I could seamlessly combine figurative and still life elements in my paintings. Contrary to my expectations, as my work evolved I discovered there were advantages to painting human and still life subjects differently. Following this realization, I began to experiment using brushwork to characterize what I was seeing, embracing the hard boundaries of plastic toys and the soft, wispy quality of out-of-focus flesh. As a result, I now feel more confident moving forward into future series where these effects will play a more central visual and narrative role.
For any questions or inquiries about the work, please contact Natasha Jabre by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.