The only thing more colorful than Gwenn Seemel’s paintings is her vibrant personality. #HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino recently sat down with this French-American artist to discuss her unique painting style and her powerful messaging.
Gwenn’s unmistakable style has been crafted for years, having been inspired at an early age to pursue a career in art when she received positive feedback from her brother. From there, with a push from her family, she attended art classes and her career has blossomed ever since.
Gwenn specializes in portrait work, as well as conceptual pieces, like the work she did for her book Crime Against Nature: a more accurate telling of what’s natural. The book seeks to shatter gender and social norms through evidence found in nature as well as Gwenn’s paintings of the corresponding species that shatters the existing concept.
While Gwenn’s paintings have been shown all over the United States – and even in some photo filters – she recently made headlines for something that happened right in New Jersey. During the opening day of the Love and Fear Exhibition at the Montclair Public Library, one of Gwen’s six pieces, featuring imagery of President Trump, was removed during the first 30 minutes. The library originally cited ‘profanity’ as the cause for the removal but has since issued a statement and rehung the painting.
Lucky for us, Gwenn brought in some of her paintings to show off. They included a sunset modeled after where she lives in Surf City, two portraits, and a dinosaur image with bunny ears. Together, Gwenn and Lisa Marie discussed the meaning behind each of the paintings and the inspiration behind their creation.
Gwenn’s paintings are so striking that they command your attention, however seeing them in person is absolutely hypnotizing. Our studio found itself much like a traffic jam, everyone gathering around to stare, mouths open, at Gwenn’s work. The attention to detail is apparent in every deliberate stroke; all seeming independent from the other, but all adding up to tell one story and paint one picture. Everyone had a differing opinion in which piece was their favorite and why. Everyone found something that spoke to them, directly.
You can see Gwenn’s work in person during her three current shows: “Love and Fear” at the Montclair Public Library, “Empathetic Magic” at Lyceum Hall in Burlington, NJ and “Crime Against Nature” at the FIAF in Montclair, NJ.
For more information on Gwenn, visit https://www.gwennseemel.com/ and be sure to visit one of Gwenn’s three current exhibitions:
Crime Against Nature
Open: through May 8th
Hours: Monday through Thursday 8:30 AM to 6 PM, Friday 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, Saturday 9 AM to 4:30 PM
7 North Willow Street, Suite 7
Montclair, NJ 07042
Love and Fear
Open: through April 29th
Hours: Monday through Thursday 10 AM to 8 PM, Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM, Sunday 1 to 6 PM
Montclair Public Library Gallery
50 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042