[A woman is sitting in a director’s chair in an empty room or studio while the director claps his hands together to signal action.]
Jen Mann: I believe that portraiture is more than just painting someone’s literal face. There’s a lot of tension with my work about surface versus substance. Because it is realistic and there’s this slick technique, people can come to the painting and see that surface viability in the art. But there’s usually undertones and meaning in there that’s the substance and that’s the thing that I really am interested in, in terms of art.
[Jen Mann - Artist]
[The camera pans out on a gallery wall with 5 of Jen’s portraits. They are each shown up close, alternating with a clip of Jen seated, speaking directly to camera.]
[Portraits, Presented by CIBC Private Wealth Management]
[Jen walks up to Monika and hugs her.]
Jen: Hey, how’s it going?
>> Monika: Hey, how are you?
>> Jen: Good, how are you?
>> Monika: I’m good, I’m good.
Monika (voiceover): It was great meeting Jen. I felt instantly comfortable with her…
[Monika Deol - Former broadcaster and President of STELLAR. CIBC Private Wealth Client.]
[Monika and Jen are walking and talking.]
Monika: and when Jen first said to me, “Well, I want to know about you and I want to know about your world.” And I kind of thought, “Well…I mean you’re looking at me and we’re having coffee together, isn’t that enough?”
[Monika is siting, speaking directly to camera. Then clips of the two sitting on a sofa talking.]
You came over to our place and our kids were thrilled to meet you.
>> Jen: That was fun.
>> Monika: And then you took photos of them, what is the thinking there?
[Jen and Monika are standing and talking in the studio.]
>> Jen (voiceover): I’ve worked with projection a lot before and I thought using them as an abstract colour field over top of you, that was a large part of you that maybe not everybody sees.
>> Monika (voiceover): It really is.
[The projection screen with an image on it and Monika posing for the camera.]
>> Jen (voiceover): So there’s this communication and collaboration between somebody understanding you or trying to understand you and you presenting yourself to that person. And so there’s this trust and also this kind of rawness and openness about each other.
[Monika is sitting in front of the screen while Jen takes photographs of her using projection.]
>> Monika (voiceover): I think having your portrait painted is exciting and it’s flattering to be really honest, at the same time, you feel very vulnerable and you really hope that the person painting the picture gets you.
[Jen is picking out paint in a store.]
>> Jen (voiceover): I think you always have a kind of base outline of what you’re thinking would be a cool idea for this person and then when you meet them it evolves.
[Jen is in her home sitting down to look at the images on her computer.]
Jen (voiceover): What I want to capture is the way the person sees themselves and the way that I interpret them. But in a non-biased way their best self. There’s all these colours in it which I think represents all these different parts of her personality and then, also her kids are kind of layered in there, in her hair, framing her face.
[Jen is painting the portrait of Monika with a time laps effect.]
Jen (voiceover): I think we’re all searching for connection and to be understood and to also understand others and so for me, portraiture is a way of connecting with people.
[Jen steps back from her portrait slowly and walks away.]
[Artists capture the real you. So do we. CIBC Private Wealth Management logo. Text appears on the screen with the portrait in the background.]
[Special thanks to Monika Deol and Jen Mann.]