Interview with Jana & JS for “No Broken Promises”

We’re excited to be showing husband and wife duo Jana & JS in the Thinkspace Project room for “No Broken Promises” opening Saturday, February 2nd. The exhibition will show new stencil and acrylic spray paint works by the French/Austrian pair who have been collaborating since 2007. The two have developed a stylized stenciling practice, often using site-specificity and portrait-based interventions into a city’s architecture to produce unexpected encounters.

In anticipation of “No Broken Promises” our interview with Jana & Js discusses the inspiration behind the exhibition, their feelings towards their creative process, and what they do after completing a body of work.

SH: You’ve shared with us before how you began to work together, but for those that are not familiar with your work as a duo, can you give us three words that describe the evolution of your artistic partnership and each other’s respective zodiac sign? 
J&J: More personal, More sensitive, More introspective 
Jana is Taurus / Js is Virgo

SH: Is there a particular piece in this exhibition that really challenged you both? If so, why and what makes you proud of this piece.
J&J: We can’t really think of a piece that was more challenging to create than the others. But we can say that we are very happy with the works “All I want to see is that you’re ok” and “Waiting”. 
We have been introducing some new elements lately, and we really like how these precise pieces came out! 

SH: What inspired this latest body of work?
J&J: “Memories” is the main inspiration for this body of work.
All the images that we painted were inspired by our memories, or feelings induced by past moments. The objects we painted are carrying history and memories from others. 
All the pieces we’re presenting for this show are painted on found objects, assemblages of wood fragments that we found in abandoned houses or factories. 
These objects had a previous life, all the objects have accompanied people in their everyday life or in their works. We love to think about all the history they have and use the mark of the time passing in our work.   

SH: How do you capture ideas for pieces; do you have a sketchbook on hand or is it just a note to yourself in your phone?
J&J: We don’t really have a sketchbook, for that kind of work. it’s more of a notebook where we are writing ideas, phrases, lyrics… 
Our camera would be our sketchbook. The basis of our stencil work is our photographic work. We take a lot of pictures… and some of them will be transferred into paintings. 

SH: What excites you about your work / creative process?
J&J: We never get bored of what we are doing. We love our “job” and living something special like that together is the most exciting thing for us.  
Being able to be creative, travel, discover new environments, meet new people (and especially because we can do that together) is amazing. 
And being able to perpetually share ideas and built our work is thrilling. 

SH: What frustrates you about your work/ creative process?
J&J: Right now, what frustrates us the most is not having enough time to experiment more.  

SH: What do you think the role of artists is in society? How does other artwork inform how you move through life?
J&J: We believe that artists are providing society with emotions, reflexions that lead to make the world a better place.  

SH: What is the best advice you’ve received as an artist? The best advice you’ve received in general? 
J&J: The best advice we’ve received as an artist is “Be true to yourself, express the things that makes sense to you” and we guess that is also the best advice we received in general. 

SH: Favorite way to celebrate the completion of a project/body of work?
J&J: Spend time with the kids, and forget about the painting for a little while. 

Join us for the opening of “No Broken Promises” this Saturday,
February 2nd from 6 – 9 pm.