Episode 7: Jenny Dubnau

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Jenny Dubnau is a painter of portraits. Her uncanny, highly detailed oil paintings are made from photographs she takes herself. Her work has been called “an Anti-Vanity Project”, and explores the slippages between self-presentation and the vulnerabilities of being human. We visited Jenny in her Long Island City studio, where we discussed the history of portraiture, how to play “find the punctum“, and how she taught herself to paint using autopsy photos as sources.

People, places and things mentioned: Alice Neel, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Piero della Francesca, Jennifer Samet, Beer With a Painter, Roland Barthes and his concept of the studium and punctum (from Camera Lucida). . .


Self-portrait shrugging, oil on canvas, 42″ x 36″, 2014


C.H., profile, oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″, 2012


A. with scraped face, oil on canvas, 50″ x 42″, 2003


White Lily, oil on canvas, 38″ x 42″, 2007


Dictator, oil on canvas, 18″ x 22″, 2016

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