Born in Paris in 1962, where she lives and works, Jannie Guedj is a graduate of Decorative Arts. In 1982 she was accepted at Paris’ École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs on the basis of a competitive selection.
During her first two years there, she studied visual communication, scenography, pho tography, painting, illustration, perspective, screen printing and colour, then majored in Video, exploring the flexible potential of digital technology in quest of a new visual aesthetics utilizing picture-in-picture techniques.
After graduating in 1987 as a video maker, she practiced photography, illustration and graphics before delving into mural painting in the context of a collaboration with Fine Arts students, the Archantiers, revamping Parisian building sites — fences and tarpaulins disguised by frescoes.
She went on to learn the ropes within amusement parks, particularly Euro-Disneyland Paris, where she spent a year working with patinas and imitation materials on large sculpted-concrete façades.
In 1992, she honed her skills in optical illusions at Mikado Studio by studying the different qualities of wood and marble as well as traditional fresco with lime and its acrylic imitation.
She then left for Seville to work on the decoration of the Saudi Arabia and Morocco pavilions.
On her return, she joined the Opera of Bastille decorative team for the stage set of Hector Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini, directed by Denis Krief in 1993.
For the next 4 years she worked in cinema and the theatre on temporary contracts for reconstructing sets, mainly at the Palais de Chaillot and Billancourt film studios.
In 1995, she enrolled at the Maison des Artistes and took on mural painting projects for an international clientele which allowed her to work within the most beautiful residences and works of architecture.
At the same time, between 2008 and 2010, she joined the ATELIER DES PEINTRES EN DECORS and the ARTEMISIA Studio in Paris, as a trainer in illusion paintings and patina techniques.
Between 2012 and 2016, accepting invitations by visual artists for collaboration, she took up studio painting, before returning to a more personal style of creation which she pursues since.
Her most recent artistic collaborations include : For ANSELM KIEFER, creation of 20 monumental books of faux marble, displayed at the National Library of France in 2015 and at the Rodin Museum in 2016.
For LYNDA AGUILAR: creation of paintings on photos, exhibited at the Mickael Marciani Gallery, Place des Vosges in Paris. For DIDIER CHAMIZO, reproduction of canvas paintings shown at Paris’ Bertheas Gallery.
Her current research revolves around the tree, one of her preferred topics. She is not so much interested in the representation of the tree as in the expression of the vital energy it emits.
For Jannie Guedj, the tree holds an inexhaustible expressive and graphic potential.
She is particularly fond of centenarian trees that have seen generations come and go. She respects their age, their unperturbed magnificence, and appreciates their appeasing, benevolent and protective presence.
She works with trees outside, paints freely without pictorial constraints but always with rapid, almost urgent gestures on impulse as though to transmit motion to the painting. It is there that the journey begins, verging on abstraction.
Guided by energy and emotion, she works with her entire body in quest of expressive graphics close to calligraphy.
She is mindful of twisting branches, of offshoots, outgrowths and divisions, fullness and emptiness, rhythms and discords, the visual intensity created by light within the leaves, transparency and marked contrasts.
She also studies the bark of the tree, the rapport between tree and its environment, its adaptability to different climates and obstacles, its way of communicating, how it bends under the wind or rises swiftly.
For her, the tree is the very representation of life.
Complex and simple at the same time, still but ever changing, it incarnates change amidst permanence just like a living paradox.
Through winter’s bleakness, the rebirth of spring, summer’s ripeness and autumn’s decline, the tree conjures up the stages of a lifetime, a symbol of the human condition and its paradoxical combat with immortality.
Its own verticality makes part of a strong bond with humanity, in the manner of a body that, from its roots at the centre of the earth, draws strength to stand tall while reaching to the sky.
A symbol of spirituality, for Jannie Guedj, the tree incorporates the entire spectrum of human feelings and emotions.