April 16, 2024
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Stephanie Jaffe Custom Mosaics: Weaving History into Art

Stephanie Jaffe Custom Mosaics: Weaving History into Art
Photo Courtesy: Alian Fleitas Photography

“Mixed media artworks by Stephanie Jaffe featuring a custom portrait of a clients deceased mother alongside the artist’s interpretation of Manet’s painting ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère.’

Stephanie Jaffe is not your typical portrait artist. She does not use paint, brushes, or canvas to capture the likeness of her subjects. Instead, she uses a mosaic of objects—buttons, beads, jewelry, toys, ceramics and more—to create stunning and personal artworks that celebrate the lives and stories of her clients.   

Jaffe’s custom mosaic portraits are a testament to the profound connection between art and personal history. These intricately crafted mosaics not only commemorate beloved individuals but can also depict revered icons or figures that hold a special place in one’s heart. Jaffe’s attention to detail ensures that each mosaic becomes a cherished tribute, encapsulating the essence of the subject and its significance. By integrating treasured possessions or symbols associated with loved ones or chosen icons, these artworks become more than just visuals; they become living memories, embracing the stories and legacies that define them. 

“Drawing inspiration from contemporary artists like Nick Cave and Vanessa German, my practice is fueled by my love of collecting nostalgia and my passion for recycling,” Jaffe says. “My artwork evokes memories and personal connections.” She embraces the challenge of collecting a treasure trove of items to tell the story of the subject and establish personal connections. “This is where I explore the interplay between memory and the emotional resonance of objects.” These objects become the threads that weave the stories and memories of those her work represents. The result is a unique and enduring way to honor yourself or a beloved family member, ensuring that their legacy is celebrated and cherished for generations to come. 

Jaffe’s process begins with a consultation with the client, during which she learns about the subject’s life. She then inquires about any sentimental memorabilia they may wish to repurpose into the artwork. Additionally, she upcycles materials from thrift stores, flea markets, and online auctions, seeking items that align with the theme, color scheme, and personality of the portrait.

Stephanie Jaffe Custom Mosaics: Weaving History into Art
Photo Courtesy: Alian Fleitas Photography

“Artist Stephanie Jaffe, wearing a respirator, pours resin onto her mixed media portrait of Audrey Hepburn.”

She arranges found objects on a board, creating a mosaic resembling a pointillism painting. She uses glue to secure the work and then partially submerges it in resin, resulting in a glossy and textural finish.

“Jaffe’s portraits range in size from 24” H x 24” W x 3” to 48” H x 34” W x 3”, depending on the client’s request and budget. With experience in public art, she enthusiastically embraces large-scale commissions. Her charges depend on the size, complexity, and materials involved. She mentions that each portrait takes about a month to complete, depending on the availability of items and the level of detail required. She works in her home studio in Miami, Florida, where she resides with @masstortguy and their cat, Zeus.”

“Jaffe’s clients are individuals seeking to commemorate loved ones or themselves in a unique and meaningful manner. Some of her portraits feature renowned figures such as Chef Julia Child, actress Audrey Hepburn, and climate activist Greta Thunberg. Jaffe expresses her enjoyment in working with clients who possess a strong sense of identity and a compelling story to share. She states, “The power of storytelling through art is what drives me. I aim to create portraits that not only upcycle objects but also capture the essence and spirit of the subject.”

Stephanie Jaffe Custom Mosaics: Weaving History into Art
Photo Courtesy: Alian Fleitas Photography

“Miami mixed media artist Stephanie Jaffe in her summer barn studio in the Berkshires.”

Recently, she received a commission to create a portrait celebrating the life of a client’s deceased mother—an accomplished Korean immigrant and successful entrepreneur in New York City. The portrait features objects that represent her mother’s journey and includes jewelry that belonged to the client’s mother. Jaffe says that this project was one of the most rewarding ones she has done. “It was an honor to be entrusted with such a precious and intimate task,” she says. “This portrait is not only a tribute to her mother but also a testament to her business savvy, courage, and success.”

Jaffe expresses that her art has the potential to elevate ordinary individuals with extraordinary stories to tell. She hopes that her portraits inspire people to appreciate their own history and heritage. 

Stephanie Jaffe’s custom mosaic portraits are available for commission through her website, You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook @stephaniejaffeart to see more of her work and process.


Published By: Aize Perez

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