Jennie Nina is a native New Yorker, born on November 4th, 1978, at North Central Hospital in Harlem. After turning one-year-old Jennie’s Mom, Cecilia Fiallos, was terrified to find Jennie dangerously banging her head against the wall and causing her self harm with no explanation. Despite many convulsion episod… Read More
Jennie Nina is a native New Yorker, born on November 4th, 1978, at North Central Hospital in Harlem. After turning one-year-old Jennie’s Mom, Cecilia Fiallos, was terrified to find Jennie dangerously banging her head against the wall and causing her self harm with no explanation. Despite many convulsion episodes and repeated visits to the emergency room Jennie’s behavior went unexplained until the age of five when she was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis, which effects the brain, skin, central nervous system and internal organs. It was during these frequent visits to reputable Hospitals that Jennie was introduced to creating art. Drawing became her first love and it proved to be therapeutic by helping to distract her from an exhausting reality. Despite it all Jenny very rarely, if ever, complained about her circumstances.
At age thirteen Jennie became fascinated with being an artist after attending her uncle’s art exhibit in downtown Manhattan. The experience inspired her to create her own abstract paintings and to dream of one day having her very own show. The rest of her teenage years were spent drawing scenes out of her imagination and expressing the mystery of the world through her eyes. Her keen eye for capturing interesting still photos from her many solo walks, throughout the Washington Heights neighborhood, allowed her to explore Photography; her new love. Her seventh grade teacher saw something unique in her photography and insisted that Jennie enter a local Photography contest. Months after the contest a letter arrived in the mail informing Jennie that she was being honored with the prestigious Ann Taylor Photo Award. Jennie was shocked to find out that she won. The winning photo was of the George Washington Bridge taken through a chain-linked fence that created a mysterious cobweb effect. Jennie had plans of pursuing a career in the creative field and hoped to attend the high school of Art and Design. However, episodes of her illness in December of 1992 made it necessary for Jennie to remain close to home, which meant she would need to attend the local High School instead.
These obstacles did not derail Jennie from her love of art. She took art classes when possible and continued
to develop her distinctive visual style from home.
After back-to-back critical operations to remove tumors from her brain Jennie’s life began to happen in slow motion. However, as tuberous sclerosis continued to weaken her body, her imagination strengthened. She became a recluse and connected with dark and mysterious visuals. She befriend strangers online with a clean and open heart and began developing her own personas like Zombie Maiden and Samara, a Goth girl who longed to visit CBGB’s and easily found comfort in the music of Depeche Mode, Metallica, and Marilyn Manson. Her art became a platform whereby she could express topics such as death, urban architecture, and shadows created by crevices in decrepit walls. Jennie found great comfort through her online friends but became more frustrated by her limitations- yet these feelings were only expressed in her art. When looking closely at Jennie’s artwork one will notice the sharp wire that mysteriously appears through Jenny’s legacy of work. This thread is characterized by simplified shapes and a unique use of positive and negative space, which is evident in the majority of her pieces. Soon Jennie’s style was about to change.
In 2002, Jennie’s mom was informed by doctors at the New York Presbyterian emergency ward that Jennie had been pregnant for nearly five months. Due to life threatening complications labor was induced to save the lives of Jennie and her unborn child. On July 30th, 2002 Jennie gave birth to Jeffrey Christopher Fiallos, her pride and joy lovingly referred to as her “miracle baby.”
Five years later Jennie’s health took a drastic turn for the worse. Since then, she has been hospitalized and placed in hospice care. In 2007, while staying at the Calvary hospital in the Bronx, Jennie’s family was told that Jennie had only weeks then days to live. But once again Jennie’s strength and amazing will to live beat the odds. She again found comfort in drawing but this time it was technology that allowed her to be expressive through digital art and to continue her online friendships that have helped to keep her spirits alive for many years. Jenny continues to manipulate images digitally and enjoys incorporating her family and deep love for animals (primarily cats and ferrets) into her work. Her twisted yet childlike sense of humor has taken the center stage. She enjoys posting her work for all her Facebook friends to enjoy. Today, as a resident of MJHS Hospice Mollie and Jack Zicklin Residence Jennie continues to create new work and inspires others around her to live richly and appreciate the simple things in life.
Jennie Nina’s family, friends, and caregivers are a constant source of encouragement to her especially Jeffrey, her eight year old son, who she wants to inspire by passing along her legacy of work. Jeffrey has already shown great interest in art and refers to his mom’s work as “creative, fun, and cool.” Read Less