My name is Jane Skodje, I am an undergraduate student at Gustavus Adolphus College studying Studio Art and Computer Science. I grew up in South Minneapolis and have lived there my whole life. I have two artists for parents and two very talented siblings. They influence my work greatly.
I have recently finished a commissioned portrait and shown my work in a group show in the Schaefer Gallery. This summer I will be interning at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in the Interpretive & Participatory Experience (IPE) department.
My process and impulse to begin working to make art begins when I am moved by a quote, poem, or song that buries itself into my thoughts. I write and rewrite these quotes everywhere that I can. Once I have sat with them enough, I make a painting or sculpture. I explore lettering and poetic language as it can be integrated into each piece. There is a simple and soft connection that is found when viewing art pieces done involving the human figure. We have succeeded as a species because of our capacity for empathy and care for our fellow humans. This drives me to work as I seek to capture the great amount of emotion that one can express in a single gesture.
Touch and intimacy influence the color I use and the relation of figure and form. By engaging complementary colors with warmth and vibrancy, I find that these moments of vulnerable emotion comes through. At points of intersection and touch I push that relationship between the colors more to enhance the viewer’s experience. I take my experience and most importantly my failures - break ups, abandoned paintings, etc. - to create pieces that relate to others and encourage vulnerability. Being authentic in my work is important to me. I need it to heal and grow past times of fogginess and uncertainty. I choose authenticity as it greatly aligns with my choice to paint a portrait or sculpt a figure that calls upon another’s empathy. I pull myself out of these moments of fogginess by going back to what I know, color and music.
Lately my work has centered on my experience being raised in a religion that greatly suppressed women and their sexuality. I have since broken away from that religion. My latest pieces have touched on the idea of virginity, intimacy, and partnership. There is a quote from the popular 2000’s television show that essentially states that if you have already had sex with a man before marriage, you have given away your most precious gift that can never be regifted. In the show, the priest character suggests that once you have given away your “most precious gift” to one man, to the next man you would have to give a sweater. I have begun to explore the sweater as a way of capturing the men that I have slept with. I have treated each painting of a sweater being an individual portrait of that man. This brings color, intimacy, and touch back in when I think about my experiences with them and the emotions connected to each relationship.