Born in Munich, Germany to a German father and Brazilian mother, Janaina Tschape has been described as having a Northern European complexion and a samba personality. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn where her identity is not questioned. Similarly, Tschape does not limit herself to one mode of artistic expression. She is known for her performative photographs and videos, as well as her paintings and works on paper.
The title of the painting ‘Chimera’ refers to the fabled beast in Greek mythology with a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a serpent’s tail, and defined here as a fusion of multiple identities in a single body. The artist plays with this idea of a monster, which is fearful because it is made up of incongruous parts: thereby, mirroring how she too is made of many parts and her art is made up of many parts.
Tschape’s abstract paintings have an organic feel with repetitive geometric forms. The paintings compliment the fairytale fantasy works with sirens and water sprites seen in her videos.
The works are decidedly non-representational, but the narrative is one of the complexity of life and sense of freedom.
Janaina Tschape was born in Munich in 1973. She grew up in Germany and also in Sao Paulo, Brazil, her mother’s hometown. She received a degree in Fine Art from the Hochschule fur Bildende Kuste in Hamburg and a Master in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Tschape’s work has been extensively exhibited with recent solo shows in Berlin, Dublin, Paris, Athens, New York, Tokyo, St Louis and Sao Paulo.
Image courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.