This week’s cover art was painted by first-time Dan’s Papers cover artist Jennifer Jo Contini.
An Ohio native turned New York transplant, she graduated from SUNY Purchase College with a degree in art history, became well known for her series of mixed media “Pop Hearts,” and opened the Loves Gallery pop-up in Southampton. Here, she discusses this week’s cover art, developing her unique style and spreading love through her Pop Hearts #oneheartatatime.
Meet Jennifer Jo Contini
What is the name of this piece, and what inspired you to paint it?
“She Blossoms Out East” (2023). This painting is inspired by a view from my art studio here in the Hamptons. I recently moved into a new space where I create every morning on the Shinnecock Bay. I’ve been inspired by the change of seasons and the crisp morning light that reflects off the water out east.
How would you define your art style, and how did you develop it?
I’m a mixed media artist. My career started in downtown New York City. My first studio was on Mercer Street in SoHo, where I collected surrounding materials and incorporated them with resin into my artwork. I love layers of texture, and I paint organically with my signature impasto technique!
I was at the foot of the World Trade Center on that horrific day, and my family and I left our apartment (Ground Zero) and sought refuge out east in our Water Mill beach home. It was all truly therapy, as I painted heart after heart after heart. The Hamptons is where my artistic vein of productivity really began.
What artistic accomplishment or achievement are you most proud of?
The past several years have been amazing for my career. I had the honor of painting three large pieces in Los Angeles California. I created three 6′ x 8′ mixed media paintings for the tribute to Stan Lee, where it was on display at the Chinese Theatre in 2019. I also had my own pop-up gallery for three summers on Hill Street in Southampton.
What upcoming art events, exhibitions or other projects are you working toward now?
This will be my third year exhibiting at the Hamptons Fine Art Fair in July, booth #20. I will be exhibiting not only my artwork, but I also represent emerging artists as a gallerist.
My exciting new project is in partnership with the Pro (NFL) Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio! And I’m really excited to unveil my large mixed media art combined with Wilsons Leather and my signature heart art.
What do you find most personally rewarding about being an artist?
I am a self-taught artist. My career has led me to exhibit in Paris, Rome and all over the United States. Through social media, I now have collectors from all around the world, which includes Hollywood celebrities.
In 2015, I painted and sold 1,057 (12” x 12” ) signature Pop Hearts! They now call me the “Pop Heartist.” I find that my gift of art is a blessing and through my hands and work I am able to bless others with light and love.
To see more of Jennifer Jo Contini’s work, visit jennifercontini.com.