Jaynie Gillman Crimmins (b. 1955, Brooklyn, NY) a New York City based artist, creates alternative narratives by recycling quotidian materials. Her work has been shown at ART on PAPER NYC; and exhibited at the Sharjah Museum of Art during the Islamic Arts Festival in the United Arab Emirates; SPRING/BREAK Art Show, NYC; Governor’s Island Art Fair, NYC; the National Museum of Romanian Literature in addition to museums throughout the United States including the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William and Mary, VA; The Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art [HVMOCA], Peekskill, NY; Hunterdon Art Museum, NJ; Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw State University, GA; Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, LA.
Crimmins has a long history of community work. Prior to the pandemic, she was volunteering in the Guggenheim Museum’s Learning Through Art Program. She is represented by Thomas Deans Fine Art in Atlanta, GA; K. Imperial Fine Art, San Francisco, CA and shows with the Front Room Gallery in Hudson, NY; Azure Arts, Art Lives Here and Paradice Palase in NYC.
My work dismantles and transforms images, words, and printed patterns from mass marketing catalogs, magazines, and security envelopes. Shredding these materials breaks down their physical and ascribed composition, allowing me to re-contextualize their original messages into personal, domestic, and cultural narratives. The surfaces contain thousands of tiny components, each incorporating a fragment of information or imagery, recast as my own accounts of the world. The work is informed by the Pattern and Decoration Movement, craft traditions, and environmentally friendly practices, applying approximate symmetry and meticulous fabrication.
Nothing seemed to make it into the trash in the apartment of my Eastern European grandparents. Discarded clothing became crocheted rugs. Old curtains became aprons. Leftovers became the ingredients for new meals. Nothing was wasted, everything possible was reused. Castoff items became novel and compelling in their potential for metamorphosis.
Combining this sensibility with the shredding of junk mail illuminates the physical acts of deconstructing and repurposing. I feel a responsibility to up-cycle printed materials that can be difficult to recycle (because their inks have high concentrations of heavy metals). The power of transformation, frugality, ingenuity and handmade quality drive my practice.