Jen Rose: Barely There
On October 12th Citizens Of Culture will host Jen Rose and her series of work Barely There in their Chinatown Space, Nous Tous. This is her artist statement.
i was 32 and i was broke. i left a really good paying job in the advertising industry in order to pursue my art. i had to stop being part of the problem. i had to stop selling cheeseburgers to chubby kids. i had to stop selling viagra to impotent men.
hard thing about that is that sometimes you dont know what your art is until you make it.
so i checked craigslist for odd jobs and made portraits on venice beach. anything i could do to make cash. it was hard not having a salary any more, but i wanted to make money from my own creations, my own ideas. i wanted freedom.
i got desperate. i was checking craigslist for new jobs so frequently that i inevitably caved to the bombardment of ads screaming at me to come sell my sex behind a screen in a room dedicated to making money off of bodies.
why was i so precious about my identity and my body? so many men i talked to readily admitted that if they were female, the would do it. i started resenting not doing it. i was angry that i was trying to be such a good girl, precious and delicate with my femininity.
so i logged on to a webcam modeling site and began researching sites that I could start selling myself on. at this point, i didn’t understand fully what i would be selling.
i couldnt believe the variety of people on the site. my world was rocked. i clicked on tiny thumbnails that took me into the rooms of thousands of people across the world. i became obsessed with watching them interact with hundreds of people at a time. its not all sex. some people fall asleep on the job. some people drink wine and cry. some people smoke cigarettes and eat cereal. this world was not at all what i thought it was. i started to see the difference between generational seduction styles. i saw how older women liked to lick their lips a lot and squint their eyes. while the younger bloods liked to tease more overtly, talking dirty and pulling harshly on their nipples. i came across one model in particular who looked so classic in her pose, she was the modern muse, sitting there with her legs crossed and silk dress on. that was my eureka moment. i took a screenshot, then another, i couldnt wait to paint her.
i started a series on these models instead of signing up to model myself. i was still broke, but i was inspired, that felt rich.