Bio & Press


Jen Santarelli is a self-taught abstract painter based out of Illinois, whose work explores the subjectivity of perception through the deconstruction of everyday objects, such as maps, comic book pages, and floor tiles. Her approach combines more than twenty years of expertise in graphic and web design with the extreme formal purity of Piet Mondrian, the double lines and slipperiness of Marlow Moss, and the organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright—all to reveal how simplicity and the interplay between light and dark can transform the ordinary into profound experiences.

Jen first became fascinated by the abstract after spotting a clear-cut shadow on the white tile floor of her childhood home. This moment ignited in her a deep curiosity to drill down into the elemental shapes of the world to reveal hidden patterns, textures, and colors that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Jen delights in witnessing the moment when observers make the connection between her abstracts and the objects they reference. This sense of surprise (and sometimes wonder) often leads to moments of introspection and contemplation.

Jen’s pieces serve as portals through which viewers can pause, reflect, and perceive the world through a new lens. By engaging with her works, observers witness the remarkable power of art to illuminate the hidden aspects of reality, enabling them to navigate the world with newfound curiosity and appreciation. From her first solo show in the basement of Radon Lounge to murals that now decorate the streets of Springfield, Illinois, Jen's artistic journey is a testament to the ability of abstract art to transcend boundaries and awaken a deeper understanding of our surroundings.


"The Week in Pictures"
The State-Journal Register, Sept. 17-23, 2018

"Art Alley 2018"
Downtown Springfield, Inc., September 20, 2018

"Hybrid vigor"
Illinois Times, January 11, 2018

"The Radon Lounge keeps concerts on the down-low"
Illinois Times, April 13, 2017