Jennifer Guidi creates paintings notable for their luminosity, texture, and sculptural presence. Her swirling, mandala-like compositions oscillate in color and texture, inspiring shifts in perceptual awareness to forge new sensory horizons. Each painting is methodically executed through a unique process—at once systematic and organic—which reflects the connection of her painting practice to strains of Minimalism that privilege attention to detail and repetition. Her sculptural markings evoke an intensely meditative sense of narrative and spiritual votive.
A recurring form in my painting is the mandala: I start at a center point and move outwards, creating a pattern that radiates out to the edges of the canvas. I apply paint to my brush before making each mark. The repetition of applying paint to the brush and then to the canvas is, for me, a meditative process.
Set to music, this physical practice becomes like choreography. I work to the beat of the music. The rhythm keeps me going and helps me maintain momentum. I need the backdrop of music to push me along and keep me motivated while I paint.
I grew up listening to hip-hop here and there but really connected to it on a deeper level six years ago. Typically I pick an artist and listen to an album all the way through. I play certain songs to get into a desired headspace to paint. Sometimes I connect with the lyrics, the narrative of a song; other times it’s the beat that resonates.
The music doesn’t directly influence the mood or form of the artwork—I plan the color and mark-making before I start painting. But the energy of the song fuels and sustains my own energy.
The list below is composed of a mixture of new tracks I’m listening to now and a few long-time favorites. My intention was for it to be somewhat upbeat, resonating hope and healing for the current moment.
I don’t usually create playlists for the music I listen to in the studio. More often, I’ll pick a particular song and see where it takes me. This selection reflects that; it’s a wandering journey.
As told to Gillian Jakab, April 2020; artwork © Jennifer Guidi