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Introduction by Karen Sinsheimer

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An accomplished painter by the time she reached high school, Jenny Okun received a degree in experimental media from London’s Slade School of Art, and has continued to pursue a multidisciplinary approach to her art that includes photography, drawing, and film projections for the stage. Following on her best-known work—multilayered photographic interpretations of architecture produced in the camera—Dreamscapes gathers more than 100 photographs that combine Okun’s on-location photography from around the world with masterly digital manipulation to create unique images at once familiar and otherworldly. Here are landscapes and gardens, buildings and sculpture, flora and fauna, nudes, ancient maps, and paintings reimagined in dreamlike perspectives that evoke, in the words of photography curator Karen Sinsheimer, not only these realities in themselves but Okun’s “subjec- tive memory of experiencing them.”

“As in her earlier work,” Sinsheimer writes in her introduction to Dreamscapes, “the images featured in the present volume display an evolving aesthetic that harks back to the Romantic pursuit of essence and feeling rather than realistic depiction. From Spain to Thailand, Las Vegas to Costa Rica, and England to California, the world offers Okun unlimited experiential richness. Her images of Italian gardens and villas transcend time and place, while the boogie-woogie neon rhythms of nighttime Las Vegas pulse with energy and excitement. One can hear the roar and feel the force of gushing waters in her Yosemite Waterfall images, and sink into the sensuous, luxuriant beauty of the human nude, clothed or veiled or dancing in projected light forms. A silent benediction seems to emanate from the filtered light of Salisbury Cathedral’s stained-glass windows, and angelic presences reach down from their lofty perches to grace human frailty.”

Jenny Okun is a graduate of London’s Slade School of Art and Chelsea College of Art and Design. Her work has been shown in more than sixty international exhibitions, and is represented in numerous private and public collections. Okun has received commissions from, among other institutions, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She maintains studios in London and Los Angeles.

Karen Sinsheimer is Curator of Photography at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, a position she has held for more than two decades. During her tenure at the museum, Sinsheimer has curated more than sixty exhibitions, and has contributed to numerous books and catalogues, including In Good Light: Photographs by Roger Eberhard, Chaotic Harmony: Contemporary Korean Photography, and Meditations in Silver: Photographic Studies by Paul Caponigro. She is a member of the Board of JGS, Inc., a nonprofit organization that has funded more than sixty single-artist books of contemporary photography.

DREAMSCAPES The Photographic Art of Jenny Okun

From the Introduction by Karen Sinsheimer:

“To enter Jenny Okun’s photographic world is to enter a timeless, spatial fantasy where the only limit is the viewer’s imagination. The photographs in Dreamscapes reflect travel to ten countries, several American states, and multiple cities, but for Okun the locations are only important in so far as she is able to capture and communicate her subjective memory of experiencing them, of what it felt like to be there. In [her] reimagined scenes and tableaux, Okun seeks to make visible the melodies and emotions that underscore reality.”


Reflections 4 Alhambra, Granada, Spain, 2006


Las Vegas Lights 4 Cantina, Nevada, 2007


Ceramics Factory 4, Madrid, Spain, 2006


Jain Temple Buddha, India, 2004


Graveyard, Cancún, Mexico, 2010



About her first book, Variations: The Architecture Photographs of Jenny Okun—a major monograph that gathered more than ninety photographic interpretations of architecture spanning twenty-five years of work— architect Frank O. Gehry wrote, “Okun and I work in a similar way by intuitively animating forms and capturing movement. Okun’s photographs go right to the soul of architecture, allowing us to share her vision of the creativity of the architect.”


The Architecture Photographs of Jenny Okun

Preface by Thom Mayne

With essays by Henry T. Hopkins and Michael Webb

ISBN 978-0-9777193-3