Jana Cruder was born in the rural mountains outside of Pittsburgh, PA. She is a Los Angeles based fine artist exploring the themes of sexuality, gender roles, identity and human relationships with technology, each other and the environment. Raised in a hyper conservative, religious Christian upbringing, she was groomed from a young age to continue the family business of construction and farming. Jana’s
explorations in art began at an early age, with her father handing her his 1970’s Canon film camera for her high school photography class. Jana worked all summer to save up enough money to purchase darkroom equipment and at 15, with the help of her father, she built a darkroom in her basement. Spending countless hours in observation, creation and printing of her photographs, she decided art would be her path. From her first art show in the local community center in Greensburg, PA a passion and talent could be seen. Following her fathers researched guidance she continued her studies at the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology, the home of Kodak and the Eastman foundation. At R.I.T. Jana worked tirelessly, honing her craft both conceptually and technically while studying film, art history, sculpture, ceramics, and photography in traditional and digital mediums. Upon graduation she moved into the world of commercial photography, assisting and producing for some of the worlds top image makers. Jana’s commercial endeavors have supported the evolution of her fine art career. Since her first solo exhibition in 2010, Jana’s work has evolved into multiple series and cross medium explorations peaking interests and notice from the press have earned her gallery and commercial representation.
Cruder’s medium practice is photography and film, and she has branched out to include video art, performance, sculpture and installation.
Whether through the crisp beauty of flawless sunny facades, or the raw sepia warmth of conceptual humanism, Jana Cruder’s experiences, installations and subsequent images and videos beckon the viewer into a deeper examination of self, image, motivation and environment. The seemingly prim-and-proper styling of certain works, and the reserved, classically avant-garde aesthetic of others -- all of which exude advanced a high level of craftsmanship as well as elevated sense of irony -- each in different ways invoke both attention and ambiguity. Asking more questions than they answer, her works mirror the subtle layers of social influences and incongruities that people navigate on a daily basis. Cruder’s focus has evolved around the social ideals and expectations built up for women and their counterparts, notably using the iconic figures of Barbie and Ken to represent the contradictions of perfection among individuals and relationships. Drawn to
California by the magnitude of light and vast open space, Cruder found a connection to her sociological themes via her fascination with the mid - century modern design movement. In L