Sunday, May 1, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Jason Jenn

Name: Jason Jenn

Other aliases: Jason ReBegin, JJ, Jay

Contact info:,,

Birthplace: Iowa City, IA

Zodiac sign: Capricorn, with Ares Rising and Cancer Moon – a triple threat of three cardinal signs

Your medium/genre: I’m rather a Jack of All Trades; multimedia artist, writer, creative consultant, performer, photographer, graphic & video designer, poetry, etc.

Describe what you do: The man I aim to be is “A creative and spiritual ReEvolutionary here to explore the known and unknown worlds with art and soul, sharing the results in a responsible and engaging manner.” I know people often scratch their heads at what it is that I do (and often so do I), but I enjoy the art of life and life of art.

Turn on’s: big hearts, open minds, sharp wits, cool composures, warm bodies, curious spirits

Turn off’s: Aggressive, angry, bitter attitudes and actions; people quick to dismiss or judge; self-indulgence without payoff to others; obsession with perfection; refusal to recognize just how shitty we are being to the planet and do nothing to change that (all are things I do my best to keep in check within myself)

Describe your perfect date: There is no perfect, but I’d go for a long walk through nature and/or a great museum, followed by a wonderful meal – with lots of physical and intellectual “conversation” during all of it

Pet peeves: see turn-offs

Fave sex idol: I appreciate so many of life’s sexy beasts and beautiful flowers - there’s a sex idol in all of us! Show it off, baby!

1ST crush: Aquaman or the Dukes of Hazzard (yee-haw!)

Fave music: the celestial music of the cosmos…

Top movies that inspire you: Pink Narcissus, The Lost Mountain, Slacker, Alien Rhoda, and all those in my head that need to find a way out someday soon!

Fave quote: To be honest, I couldn’t think of one, so I just did a quick search and liked this one: “An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose. “ Langston Hughes

Reading List: Currently? A lot of blogs, books on art, coaching, creativity, poetry, song-lyrics, & organizing; and I’m about to re-read my favorite book “A Stranger in a Strangeland”

One of your obsessions: experimental cooking (I’m crazy for “Chopped” on The Food Network)

Influences/mentors/heroes: So, so many. I gather inspiration from all my peers and colleagues and people I’ve worked with and I count myself very fortunate to know some wonderful people in that regard. Thank you!

Fave queer Artist(s): The artists of Queer Mondays

Fave queer from history: currently Constantine P. Cavafy, because I am performing a show about him that I created using his poetry, I find him quite fascinating on many levels.

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc: When I came out to LA I didn’t intend to get into performance art, but about 10 years ago I took the “red pill.” A rabbit hole journey followed: I took Rachel Rosenthal’s classes and joined a troupe of mostly queer men known as Invisible Theatre – from all of that and more my mind was opened to a vast universe of artistic possibility with no turning back.

Fave performance experience: Every performance is a chance to feel a rush unlike anything else. But I’d have to share that the most heart-felt dance of my life was a “duet” with the spirit of my miscarried twin brother, Solaris. It came out of a very spontaneous moment with a group of friends who were playing music. I was able to let go, be out of my head and truly in my body, so that by the end of it I was naked and covered in sweat.

Most frightening performance experience: Well, it wasn’t that frightening to me, but I did a performance about the spirit animal of the Spider, and after the show I went down to gather my clothes from a bathroom/changing room and a tarantula was there! It freaked out several audience members in line to use the bathroom. I realized it was my responsibility to do something, so I put her on some fabric and took her outside away from danger. I learned the magic of performance for sure that night!

Places performed: Mostly L.A. and Iowa, but I yearn to do it all over the world.

Education: Honestly the best education has been life experiences and the lessons of “failure” (but man do they suck).

Awards/Grants/Honors: It has truly been an honor to work with the peers I have. Other than that, I tend to be a bit off the radar and lacking in those things – that may change.

What do you (does your art) stand for: I am interested in celebrating the diversity of life while offering up new perspectives on archetypes and universal themes. I aim to make art that in addition to being visually engaging, is meaningful and transformative. Art is the language of life and I love to communicate through a variety of methods.

Fave prop or costume: My Cornman Miranda outfit and headdress! My body was covered in gold paint, I made a skimpy tribal outfit and a gold helmet strapped to my head with cobs of corn, feathers, and glittery stuff dangling all over. It was a very gay way to make a statement against genetically modified corn!

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene: We are so fortunate! There is so much out there. I don’t have the chance to experience enough of it, but to know it’s there is amazing. What you seek you shall find. Good or bad. Now we need to spread the seeds out to other communities that are lacking.

What is your Vision for the Queer Future: Where Queer is still Queer, but we have reclaimed our highly regarded status without the hatred and shame attached. We are valued for the importance of the different views we possess, as visionaries, as caretakers, as pollinators of culture, and messengers with the spirit realm.

What do you see as the future for queer art: I used to think I could see the future, but it’s really uncertain at this point. We just have to keep flowering our individual essences while appreciating others and doing lots of cross-pollination. I envision the world as a great big garden full of wonders.

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events/include dates and info:
“Cavafy’s Caress” is a show I hope to perform much more in the future – details for that show and many other upcoming plans can be found at:
And I am blogging about stuff weekly at

Sample of Work:
photos by: Brent Sammons

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