Jessica Curtaz

Artist Statement

My drawings are about drawing. They manipulate surface and space. They are my effort to assert control over the objects depicted through the distortion inherent in the process of representation. From a distance the imagery appears to move and swarm. Only up close are the drawn objects discernable. Sheets of folded chicken wire expand over the panel’s surface while the rigid structures of chairs are crammed into partitioned spaces.

Up close these objects appear slightly off-balance. All of the items are drawn from models. But once I figure out the rules of an object, how light plays across its surface, how the wire in a chain link fence interconnects, I play with that representation. I never explicitly break the rules of representation that I discover, I bend them.
I am interested in the way objects become something new when drawn, in the warping that happens when three-dimensional objects are recreated in two dimensions. To me these are not flaws in the medium, but the very elements that make it interesting. Rather than striving to minimize distortions, I emphasize them, making them evident to a viewer. I want my drawings to look like drawings, so I accentuate highlights and shadows and eliminate midtones. The pencil marks are obvious. They are meant to be viewed as flawed reproductions, not perfect copies.

The illusion of space that is created on the picture plane, and figuring out under what conditions that illusion collapses is another main facet of my work. Through the amalgamation and fragmentation of imagery I create complex spaces. I distort understood rules of representation in order to flatten space. For example, all of the objects illustrated are transparent when they come in contact with other imagery. There is no horizon line, no ground to assign the viewer an understood perspective. Instead, items can be seen through each other, and there are no cast shadows.

My intention is to create still lifes that shift in and out of abstraction. I am interested in the areas where separate items are evident, and also the areas that complicate into mush. The result is illogical puzzles composed of banal objects that are drawn from life, but have been altered to the point of being imaginary.

Jessica Curtaz’ Website

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