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THE P.O.P.

Issue 006: Jen Stark

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The P.O.P. (Portraits of POPLIFE) documents inspiring individuals who push artistic boundaries and strive for excellence in order to advance the communities around them. Uniting a wide range

of talented creatives from diverse backgrounds, this editorial series invites  them to share their passions and the impact

they've had on the realms of hospitality, music,

fashion, art, and design.

 

For our sixth issue, we got to spend time with

multi-media artist,Jen Stark, at her

one-of-kind studio in Los Angeles.

 

 Scroll below to take a peek

inside her work space

and learn about the

message she hopes to

invoke with her work.

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You’re a 3rd generation Miamian.
Can you tell us about your history here?
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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a visual artist (born and raised in Miami) whose work is influenced by nature, math, and psychedelia. My artwork normally consists of paintings, sculptures, and animations that are a patchwork of colors with repeating shapes, inspired by evolution and infinity. I’ve been a professional artist for 15 years and currently live in Los Angeles.

What got you into art?

My grandpa was a hobby artist doing watercolor painting and nature photography. He saw

the spark in me at a

young age and would

invite me over for

painting lessons.

 

My parents also helped nurture my creativity by enrolling me in art classes.

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Yes! I feel very proud of my family’s Miami history. My paternal grandparents met while working at the Miami Herald in the mid 1930s. They were both born in NYC (he was from the Bronx, she was from Queens).

He moved to Miami Beach with his family as a teenager and she hopped on a train at 19 years old

with a friend and never left.

My grandpa

got a job with

the Herald doing

writing, photography,

and public relations for

places like Monkey Jungle

and Parrot Jungle back in the

day when they first opened.

My grandma edited classified ads.

 

They ended up meeting each other

at work and falling in love.

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On my mother’s side - these grandparents both grew up in Wynwood in the 1930s - their families lived next to each when they were teenagers (my grandma was literally the girl next door).

They eventually got married and owned a dairy farm where the Miami Airport is now.

The government took the land from them in the early 1950s to expand it.

Can you tell us about growing up in Miami?
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I didn’t realize how unique Miami was until I went away for college. There are so many different cultures, languages, and so

much lush nature to be inspired by. I feel very fortunate to have grown up in such a wild, volatile, and beautiful place.

I was born in South Miami and attended public school (enrolling in art classes). During high school, I went to New World School of the Arts and rode the Metrorail downtown every day. Tom Wyroba was the head art teacher back then; he instilled an amazing work ethic in us and taught us technical skills.

If it wasn’t for him and that school, I wouldn’t be as independent and

self-determined as I am today, always pushing the boundaries and

trying to level up. Miami tends to instill that hustle in you.

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How did the move to Los Angeles come about?
What drove you to move from sunny Miami to sunny LA?

I lived most of my life in Miami and

decided it was time to experience a new

 city that could help expand my career.

 

I traveled to Los Angeles with fellow artists FriendsWithYou and Alvaro Ilizarbe.

It was an exciting time.

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Oh man, POPLIFE really opened up my world as a young adult in Miami. It would be impossible to name all the amazing parties they organized, but I remember being able to dance like I never had before with a bunch of other incredible Miami weirdos at Revolver in the Design District around 2005. It helped magnetize like-minded creatives to each other.

I met so many incredible people at the parties and events.  

What is a significant memory you have with POPLIFE? Has POPLIFE influenced your life in any way?
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