Jennifer Hosein, Artist
Jennifer Hosein photo by Iqbal Hosein
Jennifer Hosein was born in Montreal, Canada. She is a writer, visual artist and English as a Second Language teacher, living and working in Toronto, Canada. She holds an Honours BA in Visual Art, French and English Literature from the University of Toronto. Her artwork has appeared on book covers, in magazines and in solo and group exhibitions in Toronto. Her poems, short fiction and a play have been published in magazines in Canada and Europe. Her upcoming collection of poetry, A Map of Rain Days, will be published by Guernica Editions in the fall of 2020, featuring her artwork on the cover as well as in the interior of the book.
My life as an artist began when I was four years old, sitting at the kitchen table where I drew people living their day-to-day lives which seemed to me, then, infinitely more interesting than my own. I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t imagining or dreaming. As a teenager, I learned to pull the pain out of me and put it onto paper. Later, I added the night creatures and beasts and in-between people that made up my life, juxtaposing ugliness and beauty, terror and pleasure, the erotic and repulsion.
My mediums are primarily oil, charcoal, ink, watercolor, pastels, and collage. In my earlier work, I used an intense color palette to conjure despair, darkness, demons and angels. I was inspired by myths, nightmares, imagination and life. I am colorblind, so I work with colors I can see, and lately my color palette has morphed into something more muted, dominated by blues and whites. I paint the human figure as a way of coming to terms with the body, and, recently, I have been melding the human figure with nature as a way of reconciling with our busy, Technicolor city lives. I have also been working on semi-figurative portraits of people I love, have lost, admire or hurt for. Often a painting is inspired by a poem or story I am working on, and vice versa. For me, painting and writing are always intertwined.