The COMO Uma Ubud, Bali is pleased to present Lydia Janssen’s book launch/exhibition entitled Spotlight / Dance to Art open to public March 8-10, 2020. This event is a must-attend for all of art enthusiasts!
‘Dance to Art’ is Lydia Janssen’s first monograph. Published by SKIRA Milan and written by Ian Findlay-Brown, it is a 20-year retrospective on her journey from Professional Dancer to Fine Artist. With roughly 80 painting images and several interviews, Findlay-Brown’s prose explores how dance and art, once separate art forms, have fed and continue to feed each other, evident in Lydia’s prolific career.
Lydia Janssen was born in 1976. Even though she was born in Michigan, she was raised in Massachusetts, spent 1986 in Lisbon, Portugal, then moved to New York City in 1998. She always loved dancing but New York City is where she started dancing professionally as a modern dancer until 2000. But she was gradually forced to leave the dance world after many career-ending injuries. Because of this, she had time to investigate other art forms more seriously. Fine Art became part of her grieving process and soon became her primary form of creative communication.
Through these years, she has had success around the world and is represented by galleries in Singapore and New York City, most of her collectors are there. Even though her collector base is international, she decided to hold the exhibition in Ubud, Bali because she has been living there since 2018 and Bali has been a pivotal place for her.
“Dance is an ineffable art form, it’s almost impossible to put into words the feelings it conjures up. Through painting, I have found another way.”
– Lydia Janssen
In this exhibition, Lydia Janssen has been investigating the psychological phenomenon known as The Spotlight Effect, the idea of constantly being watched under the spotlight. She originally wanted to discuss the feeling of performing: How she misses it, how she doesn’t, and the feeling of walking out onto the stage, being under the spotlight. So, the exhibition will feature 15 “Spotlight” paintings that Lydia has painted from her studio in Nyuh Kuning in Bali over the past 18 months.
Also featured in the exhibition is an installation art piece with photographs of the artist’s twisted and naked body. Here, Lydia collaborated with French photographer Celine Andrea, whose confrontational work highlights both the perfect aspects of the nude female figure, while sometimes focusing on the grotesque.
Lydia decided to do this because after she completed many of the ‘Spotlight’ paintings, she was left feeling as though she hadn’t delved deep enough. She needed access to a more layered place. So, she was photographed naked, under a spotlight, with the gaze of the photographer and the gaze of her husband, allowing for a more microscopic investigation into that feeling. The photographs are not obvious, they highlight different parts of the body that the viewer can’t quite place.
When asked about what she thinks about social media these days, Lydia feels that Instagram is quite useful for her work as an international artist. She considers it as a lens into what people around the world are doing. She personally uses it as a tool for her work, getting ideas from a show in Belgium, using a color from a painting in Kenya, etc. Find out more about her artwork on her Instagram @lydiajanssenart.
“What I hope however is that with the immediacy of it all, we don’t lose the longing to really see the work, waiting for its pulse, smelling it, taking the time, waiting for it to come alive.”