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Jennifer Nehrbass  New York, NY

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Jennifer

Inspired by Margaret Atwood’s book, The Penelopiad, this series of paintings imagines each of the twelve maidens as oval cameo portraits expressive of modern dilemmas, simultaneously ancient and contemporary. Ambiguity, realism and fantasy play atmospherically in a narrative moment akin to magic realism.

Drawn from a Victorian obsession with sex and death, these portraits speak to forbidden thoughts and desires, suggesting that what is hidden from, and forbidden to the maidens, is ultimately denied to the viewer. What the portraits yield is an intimacy of time and place that meanders through rich details and nuanced perplexity. For the artist, bafflement is as necessary to experience as delicate reasoning.

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'New York'


10 of 30 reactions displayed

"The two paintings here are not only beautiful formally, but the decision to put them together is interesting...I enjoy comparing them and considering the connotations the artist might have intended and what we viewers might glean about society, women, and contemporary life from these amazing paintings."

"I had the pleasure of working with Jennifer Nehrbass in New York. Aside from being a phenominal painter, she was a wonderful mentor/freind. Warm, caring, and sincere- Jennifer Nerhbass will awlays be an artist I hold in high esteem."

"I find the first pic very interesting; its Africa meets North American white women.The second pic seems sad and lonely like death is lurking with an appealing beauty."

"A very interesting work! I love the top one: very cool. Thank you!"

"Problem is that there is nothing vaguely interesting or unusual about these except the degree to which they are unskillfull. The faces, the eyes, the backgrounds, literally everything is a cliche. It's meant to be representational, but the proportions are distorted; I mean, it's not as though it's deliberately disproportionate. It's not expressionism. It's just poorly done. I'd be very proud of my nine year old niece if she could do this, but as a serious work of art by an adult in the 21st century? You can't be serious."

"Very regal, like they're trying to hold on to their past glory.Can't quite say the same about the site."

"2nd pic...Looks like Lindsey Lohan's out of rehab..."


"Oh BC if you were going to be embarrassed it would have happened already."

"Thank you, BC, for showing me that this site is not merely for hagiographies. :)That said, you should read the text. I think she did an admirable job with the skills and materials available to her."

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