Jenna Gribbon Explores Intimacy and the Inner Gazew of a Relationship in "Uscapes"
In our Summer 2021 issue, we interviewed Jenna Gribbon under the title of "The Pleasure of Looking." And one of the great lines from the interview that Jenna told us goes like this: "I mean, in general, don’t you think this is the most voyeuristic time that's ever been? You know, all sort of peeking into each other's intimate lives, the intimate details of each other's lives. But I think people get it wrong when they make it all about voyeurism because that's only one aspect. Really, I’d say it's more the pleasure of looking—scopophilia. It's an interest and a curiosity about investigating that, but not in a way that's damning."
Jenna is great at looking. Anyone who enjoys her paintings knows that she has a knack for intimacy, for the in-between moments between two people in love and has a way of documenting those moments that feels raw, vulnerable, almost funny. But that is what a relationship is, isn't it? There is something funny about being vulnerable, something light and also full of tension. That dichotomy is at the heart of Jenna's works.
It has never been more on display than in her new solo show, Uscapes, on view at Fredericks and Freiser in NY through the end of October. The gallery notes that, "The artist foregrounds the possibilities of escapism, whether benevolent or dubious, that come with consuming intimate content generated by others. The various sources of light manipulate not only what the viewer can become privy to but also affect what the subjects of the paintings themselves can see." That light, so profound, but what is so great is that sense of dubiousness in our most cherished moments alone with a loved one. In an era where we are finding ourselves propelled into a world of more seclusion and isolational honesty with our partners and friends, Uscapes feels like a moment in time that we will soon not forget. —Evan Pricco