Artist Statement - Jill Biskin, Painter, Muralist

Jill Biskin
Architectural Trompe l'oeil

am a painter and muralist based in Athens, Georgia. I work on a wide variety of projects commissioned for public and commercial spaces and for private residences. They are executed on site or in the studio that I built in Athens.

I studied fine arts at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Florence studio of Nerina Simi, then trained in theatrical painting at the Studio and Forum of Stage Design in New York. For many years I painted scenery for theater, film, ballet, opera, and television. For my last eleven years in New York City, I was a scenic artist for the Metropolitan Opera, where I was involved in the creation of all new repertory and the restoration of existing productions.

I have always maintained a private studio where I execute my own small paintings in egg tempera and oil, and these have been exhibited and collected widely. My three years of study in Florence, Siena, and Rome reinforced the influence of Italian art on my work. I have developed the techniques and materials I use from that exposure. Fragments of Roman architecture and gardens emerge in my paintings, and I strive to reconstruct the atmosphere that I first experienced there as a student.

Years later, I returned as a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, and undertook a suite of allegorical paintings which were bought by a collector for his philanthropic foundation in Washington, D.C. Like much of what I do, they were conceived as a series, requiring historical research as well as painterly demands.

I moved to Florence again and then to Georgia to join my husband. The skills that I developed both as a fine artist and a theatrical painter have been essential in the projects that I now pursue in my Athens studio for clients based throughout the Southeast.

There is a broad scope to the work, and no two commissions are the same. I employ old world techniques in their execution, and I strive to use each project as a broadening experience, whether it involves portraiture, historical painting, restoration, landscape, or finish. I enjoy the research aspect of my projects as much as their execution, and the diverse requests made by my patrons allow me limitless opportunities for creativity and resourcefulness.