Originally from New Orleans, Virginia Martinsen received her BFA from the University of California at Los Angeles. Her first solo exhibition, A Face on Mars, was shown at the ATM Gallery in New York in 2009, and explored the human need to identify with or find familiarity in the unknown. Robert Shuster declared Virginia “a new action hero” due to the inspiration she has received from her visits to Hermann Nitsch’s castle in Austria. Virginia’s work is produced by pouring solutions of oil paints, varnish, dry pigment and painting mediums onto canvasses lying flat and allowing them to flow and solidify in a process that takes many months to dry and continues to “develop” over time.
Q: What drew you to Mana Contemporary?
A: The large spaces and convenience of what the facility offers (storage, shipping, studios, framing, etc.), but mainly, Kurt’s beer hall–umm, schnitzel!
Q: When did you decide to move your studio here?
A: A couple of months ago.
Q: How do you feel about Jersey City?
A: I’m new to Jersey City and don’t actually know that much about the area. I hear there is good Indian food.
Q: Did you design your studio here?
A: Yes, the layout is fairly simple. I paint my canvases horizontally–so I need lots of floor space, but it’s fantastic to be able to tailor my space specifically to my needs.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A series of paintings that are created by building up layers of gesso and then poured oil paint, which takes many months to dry and continue to “develop” over time.
Q: What do you like about your studio?
A: I’m really excited about my adjustable storage rack for my paintings–it’s very cool.
Q: How do you feel about being part of Mana Contemporary?
A: It’s an exciting new space with a lot to offer and I look forward to being a part of it as it grows.
– Selena Ricks-Good & Tema Stauffer