Yenna HiIl is a self-taught, synesthetic artist known for her unmistakable and unpredictable “pop-infused ancestral hieroglyphics.” Consisting of striking line work, bold color, and unabashed social justice themes, Hill seeks to connect people through awareness and to provide a meditative experience for her viewers.
Born of artistic heritage, Hill’s earliest influence was her grandfather, Al Haring, a cartoonist and illustrator with whom she would draw at the dining room table surrounded by the work of her world-renowned pop artist uncle, Keith Haring. She received early exposure to Aztec and East African artwork, West African wax print, Indian block print, and Polynesian patterns, all of which became foundational influences to Hill’s style. Today, Yenna attributes further influence to artists Maxfield Parrish, Kenny Scharf, Nikki de St Phalle, and Joan Miro.
After exploring other creative outlets including poetry and acting in her teen years, she opted to focus on painting and drawing and set out to hone her skill and find her voice. Traveling abroad, studying art and experiencing other cultures aided in the development of personal philosophies. Life altering events in her 20’s including the birth of her daughter, traumatic relationships and single motherhood added layers of light, darkness, celebration, and pain to her work. “I find that digesting my life experiences through nameless, wordless lines delivers me. Lines are transformative. They transport me to a better, higher self and provide me with a consistent understanding of the world.”
In The Women of Juarez, (acrylic on canvas paper, 2014), Hill tackles the epidemic of sexual assault, mutilation, and murder of women for which the border town of Juarez, Mexico has become known. The flowing lines of hair and abundant floral shapes, dripping blood, and unmarked graves represent the inherent beauty of the women, the brutality of their deaths, and those who have been found and identified as well as those who haven’t.
Yenna’s work has been displayed in both solo and group exhibitions since 2009 including many with Hydra Arts Studio, an underground arts scene, during their height of prominence. She is a great supporter of her local community and has both led and contributed to public art installations in and around Reading, PA. Currently, she is collaborating with jewelry artist and metalsmith Chrissy Cook, owner of MADE Jewelry, on a one-of-a kind art jewelry line, YEN x MADE. Yenna is also a trained henna artist and body painter, an animal lover, and a model for both photographers and fine artists.