Jessica Whol just finished her Hambidge residency last week.
What is your goal as an artist? Why do you create?
I strive to make engaging work that evokes a response from viewers, and hope that the work encourages viewers to question the subjects that I explore. I create because I have to. It’s a way of expressing myself and dealing with complex, personal situations in a productive manner.
What is your main/favorite/most often used medium, and why did you choose it?
I often work in many different media at the same time, but on different works. I draw with pen and ink, embroider on found photographs and lately have been making installations and sculptures with synthetic hair extensions.
When did you begin your study of your art?
Like most artists, my interest and education started as a child, but formally, high school and college were the times when I began to take it very seriously.
Are you working on a new series/theme now?
Yes. The newest experiment (from my Hambidge residency actually) is drawing on magazine advertisements from the 1960s. It’s dark and evocative of troubling forces lurking in the home or within relationships.
What people or other art influenced your work? Was it positive or negative influence?
The person (artist) who has inspired my work the most, besides my family and my upbringing, is Gregor Schneider. I’m also influenced by Freud’s Uncanny and The Gothic. I would say all are positive influences.
Do you do any kind of research for your art?
Yes. As mentioned above, I’m currently reading a lot about The Gothic, and am also interested in suburban developments, particularly as it relates to residential structures.
Just for fun
If you could learn to do anything with a guarantee that you would not fail, what would you pick?
Fall in love and stay that way.
What are your top ten favorite things?
Artwork so profound it makes me cry
Amazing meals with good company
Ceramic cups, plates, pots, etc.
My collection of found photographs
What was your favorite subject in school? Least favorite?
Favorite: Drawing. Least favorite: History (but not Art History, I liked that).
Favorite and least favorite food?
Favorite: My grandma’s chicken soup. Least favorite: Hard boiled eggs.
Tell me one random fact about you that I never would have guessed.
I love rap music.
Thanks Jessica! Visit Jessica’s website at http://www.jessicawohl.com/
I make the invisible visible.
My practice of investigating and scrutinizing people, objects and domestic environments reveals hidden metaphors and interpretations of that which we cannot, or choose not, to see.
Particularly drawn to portraiture and manicured homes, I exploit the uncanny while subverting domestic representations of perfection and happiness.
Conceptual strategies such as repeating, simulating, concealing, mutating and erasing induce a sense of discomfort. By employing tight boundaries, clean edges and sickly smiles, secret interiors are protected from the outside world.
These protective barriers are created through the use of obsessive mark making. While subtly implying that my subjects are flawed, the handmade mark in this work is evidence of our human condition—that is, we are not as perfect as we may seem. Whether painting, drawing or sewing, I make marks by hand to acknowledge and embrace the imperfections in our society’s relentless pursuit of composure