My current work takes from the past. I use photographs of people from a bygone era I have no connection with. But unlike earlier subjects — my ancestors — their legacy is far from clear. These people remain a mystery, leading me to piece together the mosaic of their lives. The end result is at best a distortion of who they were. Although I continue to wonder about their personal experiences, I know it's a malformed reality. In this new series, I explore what happens when the legacy remains unknown. I paint on wood panels. I allow the grain of each panel to dictate the figure’s form, letting the image gradually emerge from within the wood. I hope to reveal the story of each person through this "paint as stain" technique combining the life of the wood with that of the person portrayed in it.
Jenny carpenter was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She has lived in London, Melbourne, Minneapolis and New York City, and has traveled extensively through Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America and the United States. She is fascinated with where people come from — from an ancestral perspective as well as geographic — and how both have a profound influence on how they live their lives and ultimately the legacy they leave behind. She received a BA in Studio Art and Advertising from Creighton University in Omaha and has exhibited work in group and solo shows in Omaha, Melbourne, Minneapolis, Lexington, KY, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Beacon, NY. Jenny currently lives on the top floor of a six-story walk-up in New York City with her husband. They do not belong to a gym and will often go without an umbrella.