Spring (Four Seasons Series), detailJessica Lichtenstein
2014 C-print on acrylic. 48 in. x 48 in. x 2 in. Courtesy of gallery nine5.
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Looking to the classical nude form as inspiration, Jessica Lichtenstein explores modern international reinterpretations of female depictions. Beginning her career with placing hyper-sexualized Japanese figurines into domesticated environments, Lichtenstein’s exploration into the female form has since evolved to incorporate glimpses of female sexuality in textiles, furniture, acrylic prints, mirrors, and chrome. Pulling viewers into her utopian, phantasmagoric worlds, Lichtenstein asks her viewers, male and female alike, to re-consider the many complexities of femininity.
Her latest series departs from the overt sexuality of Japanese anime culture and investigates the simultaneous anonymity and specificity of female characteristics. The faceless, repeating effeminate forms represent both the community of women in the world and the individuated characteristics that make up a single woman. Varied body positions differentiate each figure and yet harmoniously contribute to the texture of the leafy, vibrant tree that unifies them.
The unique shape of the works, whether in Lichtenstein’s famed word pieces or the circles of her Four Seasons Series, enhances and contains the meaning within. Words and shapes inform and define the worlds inside, lush and inviting and ripe with intricacy.
Jessica Lichtenstein was born in New York and attended Yale University, studying under renowned art critic Vincent Scully. Her work spans multiple mediums, including furniture, textiles, photography, prints, and sculptures. Her pieces are held in prominent international collections in Paris, France; London, England; Saudi Arabia; Jordan; Chicago, IL; Palm Beach and Beverly Hills, CA; and New York, NY; including in the private collection of Lizzie Tisch and high-end designer boutique Suite 1521. She has exhibited extensively in New York, participating in art shows Scope, Art Southampton, and Art Miami.
Recently I’ve become fascinated by the idea that we are all fledgling buds, blooming from a tree, reaching towards the sky and trying to grow and evolve. But we all have different journeys. Some of us cling to the tree for support, others leap or jump from the tree freely; some find their comfort in the shade of their companions, while others gain confidence from their solitude; some are extroverts flaunting their sexuality, while others like to hide in the shadows. To me the combination of every girl on the tree represents the huge range of human experience and emotions, and more specifically the gamut of emotions that accompany being a female in a world based on perfection, beauty, and transience. They are all ornamental flowers, figuring out their paths through life, growing, falling, jumping, evolving, teetering on the edge, yet they are simultaneously being judged, critiqued, loved, and worshipped by the outside world who, like the viewer, closely examines and gazes upon them through a thick circular lens.
- Born: New York, NY, USA
- Based: New York, NY, USA