It's all about the art this week.
Who can explain why some images more than others, lodge themselves so firmly in your mind that you just can't shake them. That's exactly what happened when I came across the image 'Goldface' below about three weeks ago.
Working with found photographs, artist Jessica Wohl embroiders direct onto them and in the process transforms them into another more disturbing reality. Another reality created by creative cross stitch!
In some strange way, they kind of remind me of a surreal version of the nail and lurex string pictures I remember from my childhood...
Jessica Wohl was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Growing up in two different suburban households, she was an only child, the youngest child, and the oldest child simultaneously. She received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2001 and her MFA from the University of Georgia in 2010. Originally trained as an illustrator, her current studio practice includes drawing, painting, collage, installation and performance. She currently lives in Sewanee, Tennessee where she is an Assistant Professor of Art, teaching drawing and painting at The University of the South.
She explains her work on her site saying -
"Particularly drawn to the home and its residents, I exploit the uncanny while subverting domestic representations of perfection and happiness. I use obsession, personification and gothic overtones to convey the idea that looks can be deceiving, and I interpret the family, the posed portrait and the suburban tract home as stages where this unsettling dynamic plays out. Conceptual strategies such as repeating, simulating, concealing and mutating induce a sense of discomfort in the work. 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, including drawing, cutting and sewing, is evidence of our human condition—that is, we create our own realities and we are not as perfect as we may seem. As a timeless method of fixing and mending, I use sewing as a metaphor for “keeping it together.” This relentless need to prevent things from “ripping apart at the seams” speaks to the human need for connection, while simultaneously masking this vulnerability to appear composed in the eyes of others."
I can't help but think that some shots of me would be mightily impoved if Jessica were to be let loose on them with some emroidery thread.
She could stitch me right up in the best possible way!