Biography of Janaina Tschäpe
The multi-disciplinary work of Janaina Tschäpe is instantly recognizable for its fantastical and dream-like qualities. “The fairy tale”, according to the German-Brazilian artist, is “in everything” she does. Through drawing, painting, photography, film, and installation, Tschäpe incorporates themes of femininity and nature into abstracted and surreal scenes.
Named after the Afro-Brazilian goddess of the sea, Janaina Tschäpe has an enduring fascination with water and “a reverence for its endless permutations” saturates her landscapes. Her work is deeply autobiographical: she is usually the protagonist and her work is inspired by her German and Brazilian roots. Tschäpe was born in Munich in 1973 but was raised near São Paulo. Her work is inspired by both the Amazon rainforest and nineteenth-century Romantic German tales.
Tschäpe first found fame with her 100 Little Deaths photographic series in 1997-2001. In the series she envisioned her own death one hundred times by photographing herself lying face-down in one hundred different scenarios all over the world. Since then her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums internationally—including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Centre Pompidou, and the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid. Janaina Tschäpe studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste, Hamburg, and later received a Masters from the New York School of Visual Arts in 1998. Today Tschäpe divides her time between New York and Rio de Janeiro.