“I strive to capture the energy of each of my subjects,” says artist and painter Jenna Snyder-Phillips. “I want my paintings to feel alive, as though they jump off the paper or canvas.” Exposed to art at an early age, Snyder-Phillips began her career in interior design, studying at Parsons and later in Milan. Missing the mood and emotion she found through her brush, she traded in her love of space and atmosphere for the personality of paint. “I’m a much better painter than interior designer,” she explains. “For me, interiors tell the story but art is the finishing touch.” Heralded for her classic nudes, abstracts and animal creations, her style is categorized as direct, graphic, fluid and elegant. Working with Japanese sumi ink, oil, lacquer and charcoal, she emphasizes the dynamism of each subject, literally dripping her pieces with intent. Producing nearly 200 works a year, she believes that her paintings aren’t complete if she can’t see them in her own world. “That’s how I know I’m happy,” Snyder-Phillips says. “I won’t part with them if they don’t fit in my space—they have to be perfect.”
LX: I got started…
JS: Working for Gabellini Sheppard Associates, I would paint from my home in my free time. Ryan Korban, a friend and designer, asked me to paint a large female nude for a shoe store he was designing. It all grew from there.
LX: Where would you like to see one of your paintings?
JS: Villa Gamberaia in Tuscany. It’s this beautiful little villa with a Renaissance garden overlooking a valley. I’d love for my art to be there.
LX: Favorite decorating sources:
JS: The midcentury furniture and zebra throw pillows are great accents to my art sold at Area ID, while my abstracts at Flair are perfect against their signature black-and-white walls.
LX: Current project:
JS: I’m working with friend and interior designer Maneli Wilson. She’s designing a new Italian restaurant in the West Village, which will feature four of my paintings. I’ve never shown the series publicly.
LX: Art period you find most engaging:
JS: I love the romanticism of architecture and art from the Italian Rococo period.