The Suburban home is a cultural icon for happiness, a representation of those who have accomplished, attained, earned and succeeded. Simultaneously, it is a protective layer that masks the idiosyncrasies of its residents. It is precisely this monotonous mask, this over-copied prototype, which allows us the anonymity and secrecy to conduct our lives in private. It is now, as it has always been, our nature to obsessively craft and stage pleasant exterior shells that conform to the masses, so that we may be individuals behind closed doors.
There is a gothic component to these drawings, a fascination with that strange place where a theatrical drama can unfold out of sight. I reference the overabundance found in gothic architecture, and I explore the tipping point where too much of one thing can go terribly awry. These drawings also address an underlying mystery found in the uncanny, a feeling in which the familiar is made strangely unfamiliar.
The subtleties made possible by hand-drawn imagery infuse my work with inescapable flaws that allow for essential hints of discomfort. This produces a strangeness that can lead to the unsettling feeling that all is not what it seems. In addition, the illustrative quality of the hand drawn image places the work in the context of storybooks and narratives, where pictures describe and accompany tales. These illustrative drawings refer to an ambiguous story that is not written, but is perhaps already told; one in which viewers may imagine who lives inside and what events might be occurring within.
Artist Bio / CV
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 attended the Kansas City Art Institute where she received her BFA in 2001.
Wohl has taught at The University of Georgia, Maple Woods Community College, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kansas City Art Institute. Her work is collected by the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sprint-Nextel Corporation, H&R Block World Headquarters, and numerous private collectors. In 2010, she received her MFA from the University of Georgia in Athens. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Art History teaching drawing and painting at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
A list of exhibitions can be found on a downloadable CV from her website