by Laura Hutson
Whether she's painting sweet island boys out of place in Victorian Europe, or sweet blow jobs being given against a basement wall, Jen Uman knows how to grab an audience. She's relatively new to Nashville — she moved here from New York with her husband Noah about a year ago — but she's settled into her East Nashville home nicely, and is prepared to add her voice to the local art scene. Jemmy Button, the book she made with Italian illustrator Valerio Vidali, came out last month, and I wrote a feature about it for Thursday's Scene. But half a page is hardly enough to contain Jen's talent for making weird shit seem precious.
In a recent interview with VICE Magazine, Jen describes her affinity for mixing the sacred with the profane:
My life has been equally beautiful as it's been brutal and I try to be fair to both sides. Pulling from the brutal part isn't always necessary, so that's when I lean on the beautiful. It goes both ways.
I didn't paint them to be ironic, I did them from my point of view based on things I’ve seen and heard or what I am hiding behind. Sex is what we do, so I recorded it. Not from the beginning or the end but the middle where there's that total connect. That's the space I'm most comfortable painting.
Check out some of Jen's work after the jump, including the video she directed with Bucky Fukumoto for JEFF The Brotherhood's "Leave Me Out." And look for the article I wrote about Jen in the next Scene.