Clashes of contemporary values and tastes permeate the familiar and the imagined in Jennifer Levonian‘s hand-painted stop-action animations. Fuming SUVs belch noxious smoke in a Whole Foods-ish parking lot as inside a naked woman practices yoga among the pumpkins. The engaging clarity of her watercolor images and ideas belie their complexity. We’re reluctant to call her work social criticism because she describes more than criticizes, tweaking with humor and leading viewers to draw their own conclusions.
Levonian (BFA William and Mary; MFA RISD) first assisted on video animations as a child, with her father and sister. She is currently in the “here.” show at PAFA (closing Dec. 31, 2011) and was in the Art Museum‘s Live Cinema program last year. The music in many of Levonian’s videos are original work by Nathan Parker Smith (brother of Adam Parker Smith). She shows at Fleisher-Ollman Gallery.
Below is a short clip from the interview. Click “read more” for the full interview on the jump page.
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The YouTube slide show:
This episode is edited by Peter Crimmins. The music is by Eric Biondo. The slide show is edited by artblog Intern Alison McMenamin. Thanks to the Knight Foundation for helping us get the ball rolling on this project. Thanks also to J-Lab‘s Enterprise Reporting Fund and William Penn Foundation for additional support and to our partner WHYY NewsWorks for their ongoing support and for sharing artblog radio episodes on the arts & culture page of their community news site NewsWorks.org. You can subscribe to artblog radio on iTunes