FACT AND FANCY

These paintings bring together a mix of imagery inspired by different kinds of stories: literary, cultural, and personal.

I’m particularly interested in where these stories overlap and contradict one another; where our individual experiences mirror and distort society’s narratives; where art and life echo each other. Formally, the structure of my work is informed by art history’s broad array of pictorial and painterly languages, from Italian Renaissance to German Expressionism to Mexican Social Realism. 


Each piece begins with a story and a person, either myself or an individual I know. I chose stories and models from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds, looking for interesting and surprising relationships between the real life of the model and the idealized fiction of the story.  From there I begin collecting images to build a visual narrative around the subject.  Some images are carefully planned and some are improvised, with sources ranging from art history to the Internet to dreams. As this diverse imagery is combined, multiple tales merge together from literature, society, and the life of the model, creating a new, open-ended story. As each model’s experience is multifaceted and varied, each painting becomes more intricate throughout its development with layered visual and conceptual elements. In all my work, I want the viewer to connect with the characters I depict, and to be drawn into a complex visual world, rich with narrative possibility.


Solo Exhibition:
Jessica Plattner: Fact and Fancy, Common Sense Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, September 10 - October 8, 2010.