As an American artist who has lived throughout Mexico, the USA, Canada, and Italy, I am very interested in the political, social, and environmental impacts of international borders. My work is influenced by these, as well as other literal and metaphorical boundaries. My paintings themselves cross various artistic borders to establish residency in a no-man’s land between fact and fiction, natural and manufactured, past and present.
Since moving to Alberta five years ago, my work has used the local landscape as a meeting place for contrasts. In my paintings, military planes defend and violate geopolitical territories, while wild animals and birds unknowingly cross these borders. Environmental disasters appear side-by-side with tranquil scenes, and native plants and animals meet with invasive species from around the globe. The paintings also contain painterly and formal contradictions, such as representation coexisting with abstraction, and flat colour giving way to deep space. Trompe l’oeil depictions of tape and paper appear to stick to the surface, occupying a completely different reality from the rest of the canvas. These contradictory treatments of paint, space, and imagery all come together to form a complex visual world with multiple possible interpretations. In the end, my work bridges the border between anxiety and hope: fears about war, climate change, and political disarray are balanced by the wonder and immediacy of the visual world, allowing for meaning even in dark times.
-Jessica Plattner, May 2019
All work is oil on canvas unless otherwise listed. Scroll down below images for artist statement.