Despite the fast pace of life, there remains an impulse to read classic books. Ottinger creates a quick solution to digesting well known fables through her paintings and books. Using the casual vernacular of our modern time, she summarises synopses of classic tales. Creating a concise summary, the plot and character descriptions are stripped down to their bare essentials. Ottinger glues together the pages of hard cover classic novels, cuts out the centre blocks of pages and places her hand written summation in the empty space.
Her accompanying paintings of scenes from the classic tales she gives viewers a snap shot of the book’s contents where a few words and images suggest the infamous story lines. Like Grant Wood, she presents the characters more as archetypes than individuals, relying on costume, prop and setting cues for their identity. Similar to the loose unfinished qualities of Marlene Dumas’s paintings, Ottinger leaves much to the viewer's own ability to fill in the blanks. 2011 series, 'Chances, Choice, Chases' sees her characters animated and expressive, visually bringing to life stirring plot points from the novels along with the more subtle narrative defining scenarios. Her playful adaptations of classic stories allow the reader the pleasure of absorbing the main points of the novel in a mere few minutes.
Jennie Ottinger was born in 1971 and lives and works in San Francisco.