Jennifer Levonian’s life stories–hers and ours, on artblog radio

Jennifer Levonian considers herself a feminist. Her animated videos -- beautiful, handmade, surreal -- portray quotidien material, often featuring women protagonists, who encounter weird experiences in the "normal" 21st Century urban environment. Libby and Roberta talked with Jennifer in 2011. Here is their podcast interview, 16 minutes long.

Jennifer Levonian in her studio in her Kensington rowhouse home.

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 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and was in the Philadelphia 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 her work at Fleisher-Ollman Gallery.

This episode is edited by Peter Crimmins. The music is by Eric Biondo. Thanks to artblog Intern Alison McMenamin for her work on this project. 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 support. You can subscribe to artblog radio on iTunes