Last week, artist Jessica Sanders welcomed me into her Greenpoint, Brooklyn art studio for a visit. I originally stumbled upon Jessica’s work through the internet rabbit hole, clicking on links from different sites until arriving at her site, where her pieces enchanted me to the point that I wanted to know more. More about her process, her inspiration, her background, and so I asked her if I could come by her studio for a visit and a chat.
As one of the emerging artists to be featured in the exhibit, Bronx Calling: The Second AIM Biennial, opening on June 20th, Jessica was in full working mode, which was surprisingly calm and laid back. But this is all part of her process, living with her work, watching her pieces transform before her, until she is happy with the final product. It is important to Jessica that the time she spends in the studio, the history of the work, is evident in the completed piece. I love that in a world of instant gratification, Jessica’s art evolves over long periods of time and is often broken down and used later, to create new work. I’m looking forward to seeing her piece for the Bronx Calling Exhibit, as she suggested it will be something that takes on different forms as time goes on.
Jessica’s art challenges the strength of architectural elements, by removing structural building parts, like joists and dry wall, and recreating them in a more fragile materials such as sugar and beeswax. She sites beeswax as her favorite material to work with because it’s state exists somewhere between solid and liquid, and its texture is similar to skin.
I enjoyed talking to Jessica about the similarities between art and fashion, and how artists and designers face a lot of the same challenges. Her glass half full outlook was very refreshing.
Between Jessica’s sense of color and play on textures, I was endlessly inspired. Perhaps I will design a collection inspired by her work one day.
I was lucky enough to witness a piece of art in the making. Before I arrived, Jessica hung a cow hide that had been soaking in a salt bath for a month. By the time I left, I could see the beginning effects of the salt water soak, with some of the black hairs on the cow hide beginning to crystallize and turn white. I’m excited to see the final piece, but I’ll have to be patient.