About Shen

POP : GRAFFITI : REALISM

 
 

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Shen

The artist
 
 
ShenShen210
ShenShen210 was Shen’s ‘tag’ when she was the first San Francisco Bay Area female graffiti artist to emerge in the eighties. The most frequently asked question she receives is, “How did you get the name Shen?” Shen will playfully reply, “Well, now that I’m in my forties, I’m sure glad I didn’t choose “Smurfette!” ShenShen was a little black haired, green eyed elf in a comic book called, “ElfQuest” that she loved. ‘Two-Ten’ just sounded cool.

Did Shen ever get arrested for graffiti?

Almost, but she cried her way out of it by telling the police that she was only trying to beautify homeless people’s walls. Little did she know that her graffiti crews were forging the path that would make Banksy’s work publicly appreciated. First having learned how to paint under bridges at night, Shen also remarked,
“I had to memorize where my spray cans were in the duffel bag, because we couldn’t use light or we would be arrested! It was an excellent education in art, as I was painting only by value, not by hue.”
 
Shen’s work was documented by James Prigoff and Henry Chalfant, authors of the very first two books published on graffiti as an art form, Spraycan Art and Subway Art. And Shen was featured in a recent KQED documentary on graffiti art’s beginnings in the Bay Area. Shen’s work was shown in museums and featured on television while still in high school.
 
 
Still in high school, Shen’s first job in art was at a Six Flags amusement park airbrushing t shirts in front of crowds. After that, she traveled throughout California, airbrushing live during art shows and festivals for over 15 years. She was a writer and educator for Airbrush Action Magazine nationwide in the mid-nineties.

Self taught?preview23

Shen sought out the very best artists that she could find to help develop her skills further, traveling across the country to work with them at times. She swept their studio floors in exchange for teaching her about art. She would also study various artists through books and museum visits until she had absorbed each particular style and period, then would move on to the next. She also loved to teach as her career and commission query permitted.

Early in the millennium, Shen embarked on a series of whimsical, yet sophisticated paintings she affectionately calls JodiStyle, as Jodi was her given name. These paintings express her faith in God and love of childhood and were also her first strong effort in working with oils and painting with brushes.

Now, Shen mixes media in many different ways, using the best techniques and media to express her heart’s desire for each piece. She loves to experiment, learn new methods, and looks constantly for, to quote painting hero Bob Ross, Happy Accidents!

Why celebrities?

Shen’s first painted portrait was of Rudolph Valentino, the silent film star, in ninth grade as a gift to her grandmother, a serious movie buff. Her incredibly supportive Mom raved about her I Love Lucy paintings. Not to mention, Shen sold many family portraits demonstrating her ability to capture likenesses of known faces, not Aunt May. She thinks she may have painted Marilyn Monroe over a hundred times in her career, some of which can be seen in her Pop Iconography Collection. Shen’s deep passion for music is reflected in her Modern Musicology collection, which are in depth studies of music and the artists behind it. Her Urban Western Collection reflects her love of the Wild West and is a tribute to her mentor, Sun Bear. Her Funky and Fresh Collection is her journey to revisit her graffiti roots much later in her career. The Love Series is a collection of works that were inspired by God’s Love. Shen also likes to paint at least one mural per year to help her to “loosen up”. A select few can be seen in her Commissioned Works Collection.
 
Shen currently home-schools her two youngest daughters and is married to the man of her dreams. After living over a decade in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Spring, Texas and exclaims that life is “ridiculously amazing”! The family loves to dream, create, explore, travel, love, serve, and learn together as the Spirit moves.
 
Shen’s work may now be seen in Fine Art Galleries nationwide, and her work is in private and corporate collections internationally. Please see her timeline for more specific details and thank you for your time and appreciation!