Treacherous Gardens: Jenny Bird Alcantara

by Annie OwensPosted on

The work of San Francisco artist Jenny Bird Alcantara explores the “complex interconnectedness of opposites as seen through the prism of myth, fable and fantasy.” Her work primarily exists as oil on wood but also takes the form of excuisitely hand made dolls (see Hi-Fructose Vol.I) Which bear the signs of inspiration from Victorian costumes, folk art, and religious iconography, “as well as all the beautiful and sad things that could not exist one without the other, life and death and the veil in between.”

“Jennybird Alcantara’s Treacherous Gardens solo exhibit of paintings explores “the garden of the mind” and its vast, beautiful landscape filled with inherent pitfalls. Duality, water themes, dreams and nightmares figure prominently in this series of detailed fantasies in oil and acrylic on panel.

“I have always been a daydreamer,” says Jennybird, “and get many of my ideas during that state of semi-consciousness. My inspirations come from a wide variety of sources including fairytales and fables, mythology, the natural world and freaks of nature, melancholy…broken dolls and objects out of place.” With a narrative at its core, Alcantara’s minutely detailed paintings are filled with objects that possess un-borrowed symbolism contained within each piece and within the series. The artist’s love of animals and their instincts is seen and felt in her use of folklore and metaphor. Dual natures addressing the veils between human-animal, internal-external, and life-death embody the characters central to each work of art. Treacherous Gardens draws the viewer deeper into a world both strange and beautiful, guided by a generous hand.” – Varnish Fine Art.

Treacherous Gardens, opens April 3rd at Varnish Fine Art in San Francisco.


Daughter of Icarus
“‘In Daughter of Icarus'” the tale of Icarus wasn’t my initial intent with this piece but the painting began to remind me of that myth as I was working on it. I see the characters as mother and daughter as well as dueling aspects of the self . The youthful character wants to throw caution to the wind and fly to the sun while the mother protector aspect can’t let go of her for fear of the daughters peril, but also her own loss of youth.”

Varnish Fine Art
77 Natoma St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

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