Jen Stark’s art is driven by her interest in conceptualizing visual systems to simulate plant growth, evolution, infinity, fractals, mimetic topographies, and sacred geometries. Using available materials—paper, wood, metal, paint—Stark strives to make work that balances on a razor’s edge of optical seduction and perceptual engagement.
The resulting works often resemble organic, molecular, cloud-like structures, and are imbued with kinetic, undulating effects that serve to dislocate the viewer from staid reality into an immersive ecosphere of echoing patterns and the implausible designs found in nature. Even her vivid colors are in direct conversation with the natural world; the attractant/repellent properties of flowers encouraging pollination or insects warning birds of their poisonous traits, and the luminous mystery of phosphorescent sea creatures are among Stark’s concerns.
Via these corporeal abstractions, spectators are led onto the astral plane; there’s a transcendence to Stark’s work where the vibrational phases become a sacrosanct and curative experience for the viewer. Traces of mandalas or nautili reveal themselves as sacred geometric forms in Stark’s spiritual reservoir. Stark’s ability to create atmospheric, minimal, naturalist configurations that only reveal themselves after deep engagement align her with the artistic legacies of Yayoi Kusama, Sol Lewitt, Tara Donovan, Tom Friedman, Andy Goldsworthy, Ernst Haeckel, and the Finish Fetish artists of 1960s Los Angeles. Not limited to the confines of museums and galleries, Stark’s diverse practice—a series of sculptural objects that rely on a commitment to process and hypnotic repetition; charismatic wall works; widely seen murals; and intricately animated films—have been exhibited throughout the world.
Stark was born in Miami, Florida in 1983, and studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating in 2005. Since then, Stark has realized exhibitions globally, with major shows in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Thailand, and Canada. Her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the West Collection, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale and MOCA Miami, among others.