The URBAN setting is the ideal playground of the Franco-Austrian couple Jana and JS and today I would like to welcome them to my favorite playground.
Who’s Jana & Js?
We are an artist couple, in love since 2004, and working with four hands since 2007.
Jana (30) is from Austria and JS (34) from France. We have been living together in Madrid and in Paris and a couple of years ago we settled down near Salzburg. We have a son and a daughter.
How did you guys meet?
We met in Madrid in 2004. We were both spending a year in Spain and at some point we happened to live in the same apartment.
Where are you originally from?
Jana is from Salzburg, Austria and JS was born in France, near Paris.
How did your journey started in the Graffiti / stencil world?
Around the time we were living in Madrid, Js discovered stencils by seeing many in the streets. We realized that it was a simple and exciting way to create art and immediately show it.
Later, when Js came back to Paris he discovered more about street art and the stencil scene in Paris. He met Artiste-ouvrier (www.articteouvrier.com) who shared with him his unique technique and founded the WCA collective. Back in Austria, Jana also started to cut some stencils on her own.
We started to work together when Jana came to live in Paris. At that moment we started to develop our actual work, inspired by our photography and our interests for urban architecture and portrait.
How would you describe your style?
It’s a mix between clean, clear lines, free backgrounds and the use of old materials.
The stencils we’re cutting from our photographic work is what gives our paintings a kind of realistic aspect.
What style (theme) your work focus on?
When we first started painting together our work was influenced by architecture, buildings in destruction, evolution of the city.
Cities and its architectures are still a great inspiration, but we’re representing it more through a geometric/abstract way by using facade patterns.
At the moment our main focus is the human body, the relationships between different persons (mother – daughter, siblings, friends…) and how we can express all kinds of feelings with it.
Which artist/s influenced you?
We have been inspired by quiet a lot of different artists and movements over the years:
dali, magritte, modrian, hopper to name a few. surrealism, abstract art are movements that inspired us a lot.
You have so many characters in your work, do these characters have identities?
Yes they have identities. They are all people we know, family, friends, people we met while we were traveling. It is important to us to have a personal relationship with the people we are representing.
Where your work is usually located?
We are lucky to travel and paint in many different places and countries.
We can’t say if all the artworks we’ve been painting still exist. We have been painting in China, Russia, America, Romania, England, Spain….
We have been painting a lot in abandoned places, fabrics, and also on the countryside here in Austria. It is not important for us to paint just big walls or in big cities – the spot, the placement and the way our work integrates into its environment is what really matters to us.
We haven’t been so much into collaborative work except for those we did with the artists from our collective “WCA” like Artiste-Ouvrier.
What can we expect to see in 2016 from you guys? Are you planning any shows/ galleries for 2015?
We have just sent a piece for a group-show taking place in november in Chicago at the Vertical Gallery, we will be presenting some new works at the opening of the new Openspace gallery space in Paris soon, and we’re working on a big piece for a show in Florence.
Also, we’re very excited about our new collaboration with Mika Gallery in Tel Aviv which is showing some of our works at “affordable art fair” in New York right now.
Any chance to visit the Middle East region soon? Have you visited it before?
No never, but we would love to!
What advice you have for the upcoming artists?
Don’t compromise, do what fells right for you.
Thank you so much Jana & Js. Pleasure having you with us. xoxo