Jennifer Levonian’s cut-paper animations blend documentary and fictional elements to create situations in which the absurd, surreal, heartbreaking, and hilarious are perpetually in play. Explorations of the ambivalence and monotony of daily life, her stop-motion paintings transform things that commonly go unnoticed into bizarre and uncanny events.
In Cinnamon, Thunderstorm, her newest animation, Levonian investigates the space between cozy domesticity and unbridled wildness. After reading a magazine article titled “Six Tips for When You’re Dying Inside,” a woman holed up in her apartment follows the directive to “create a tranquil corner” in her home by lighting scented candles. The different smells combine and magically bestow her with the power to shoot flames out of her eyes and shapeshift into a wolf.
Jennifer Levonian, cutouts from work in progress animation, 2021; watercolor; various sizes. Courtesy of the artist.