Mexican-born artist Uhma Janus’ earliest initiation into the arts was at the age of 7 when her mother taught her introductory piano lessons. She developed into a classical musician, but pursued a degree in Physics at the University of Guanajuato and nursing degrees at the University of Louisville. When she came to feel a desire to paint, it would make perfect sense that her curiosity for the understanding of the physical world and Universe and her background with music would substantially inform her imagery.
Theoretical particles were a focus in Janus’ studies, and the busy compositions that rely on repetitive pattern express an innate sense of the unseen realities of existence. Her early work is characterized by an exploration of the versatility of acrylic ink when tracing dots, lines, and curves in both spontaneous and controlled conditions. Later, her work delineated clearer patterns and figures that began to shift away from the abstract and, eventually, she began doing portraits. The journey reverses the more typical path from representational to abstract.
Janus doesn’t use the words, “self-taught” when describing herself, but her intuitive approach to making visual art feels like an honest expression of her life story up until that point. “Alien I Z D” displays a kinetic energy that resembles a graphic representation of sound such as an oscillogram.
Though she started with acrylic inks, Janus has expanded her media to include acrylic and oil paint, mixed media, graphite and color pencils in the variety of her projects.
“My focus has been the authenticity of the emotionally-empowered, fully-intentional-expressive being in action. My work engenders the recognition of the merit and gravity that the most basic graphic elements (the dots, lines, and curves) have in and of themselves. This action finds its own graphic representation as a materialized emergent phenomenon only aesthetically-significant as a posteriori entity.”
When Janus talks about her work, her language is infused with intellectualism and scientific vocabulary that reflects her background in physics, but the work itself feels intuitive; emotionalism filtered through a stringent process in the manner of the Abstract Expressionists.
Her exploration for “modalities of expression” has also led her back to music, and Janus has recently taken up guitar, violin, cello, and darbuka (a goblet-shaped drum of Middle Eastern origin), all at what she calls “a beginner level. She is also composing and writing.
Hometown: Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico
Education: BS Nursing; BS Physics; AD Nursing
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.