Jennifer Mondfrans

Painter of high-octane portraits


Please email or call the artist directly at 415.378.1310 for purchase inquiries.

2015 Publication

Emmy Noether painting featured in Vox

2015 Shows

November 11, 2015

NYC Residency Group Show, Dacia Gallery, NYC

August 1 - August 15, 2015

Group Show, Open Walls Gallery, Berlin, Germany

January 31 - February 12, 2015

Group Show, Dacia Gallery, NYC

2014 Publication

Women scientist paintings featured in Scientific American

2014 Residency

May 3 - May 31, 2014

NYC Dacia Gallery's Artist Residency Program in Sibiu, Romania

2014 Shows

September 13 - October 14, 2014

Group Show, "Go Ahead and Do It: Portraits of Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics," Art.Science.Gallery, Austin, Texas

July 6 - August 3, 2014

Group Show, "Frida," ChimMaya Gallery, Los Angeles, California

May 3 - June 21, 2014

National Juried Group Show, "Like a Tom Waits Song," Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Juror: Andrea Schwartz of Andrea Schwartz Gallery, SF, CA

May 30, 2014

Group Show, "Romanian Residency," Sibiu, Romania

March 2 - April 12, 2014

Solo Show, "Five Fridas," 19 KAREN Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast, Australia

Artist Statement

In my work, I am interested in how we perceive the nature of the individual and the ways that it can be communicated.

I am influenced by color, science and stories. I use the tradition of portraiture to explore how the invisible force of self-determinism creates a visible face to the world. From friends to public figures, I use letters, binary code and binaural recordings to reveal secrets that can be profound or lie just below the surface.

Using oil, acrylic and water-soluble wax pastel, I paint faces with high-octane color. I like the tension between incongruent colors and juxtaposing complementary colors to create a visual emotional impact.


Jennifer Mondfrans lives in San Francisco.

Autodidact by nature, Jennifer created her independent painting classes while studying philosophy at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Her first painting won the President’s Award, the school’s top art prize. She also won a grant to fund the creation of a 4’ x 7’ acrylic painting which is now in the college’s permanent collection. Jennifer was the second woman in the college’s history to receive honors in Philosophy and the only one to do so without taking a class in her thesis topic (metaphysics and Spinoza).

After college, Jennifer continued to paint (sometimes in heated conditions) while working as a residential counselor for teenage girls then as a writer for an adventure travel magazine, traveling to Italy and India on assignment. Working as a temp for the front desk of an ad agency, she was hired as a copywriter. Although it was only eight months until the agency folded, she freelanced for five years– painting in the after-hours while working in all forms of advertising, from print, web, to six-pack beer copy and writing infomercial scripts. On moving to San Francisco in 2002, Jennifer took a myriad of part-time jobs and built a body of work. She has shown in San Francisco, New York City, Portland, Oregon, Hudson, New York, Gold Coast, Australia and the National Steinbeck Museum.

Art doesn’t care if you’re man or woman. One thing you have to have is talent, and you have to work like mad. ~ Alice Neel

Hidden in Plain Sight

Portraits of my friends overlaid with a binary code sentence that reveals a hidden truth about them.

At Least I Have You, To Remember Me

Historical women scientists write a letter to You, about their work in science and the challenges they faced. History is made through memory. By reading the letter, you remember who she is and then her work is remembered.

Each painting comes with the letter, mounted on wood.



Pop Portraits

30 portraits of cultural influencers. Water-soluble wax pastel and acrylic on 18" x 24" canvas.

After Brassai

The photographer Brassai would roam the streets of Paris at night, photographing the scenes played in public as well as the underground; from the brothels, to his artist and writer friends, who would become famous icons. These 17 pieces are Inspired by his exquisite black and white photographs.
All work is oil on board, 12" x 16".

Radical Elders

An interactive art installation with two rocking chairs and oil portraits of four Bay Area "Radical Elders." One chair has the painting as the back of the chair. The other chair is where the participant sits, facing the portrait and then listens with headphones to a play list of binaural sound recordings told by the Radical Elder. Listeners are enveloped in 360-degree sound of the head space which can take surprising turns.

What is a Radical Elder? A person who influenced the cultural mind with their work and continued their passion past retirement.


Click on any image to enlarge.