in the studio with jessica anne schwartz
by Laura Grasso
As a self-taught artist, Jessica Anne Schwartz’s work is fueled by her unique sensitivity to the world around her. Her oeuvre demonstrates a mastery of a wide array of media, exemplifying her ability to create visual manifestations of emotional response through different channels. In a similar vein to the qualities prescribed to the action painters of Abstract Expressionism, Schwartz’s work comes not from deliberation, but from instinct. The turmoil of the Storm series becomes grounded in Clayfellow with a burst of cadmium, but this invocation of earth is not merely symbolic to Schwartz. It is her life, bleeding onto the page or the canvas, charged with the spirit of the noises on the street or the blue of the sky at the exact right moment of dawn. The birds that swirl around her studio also swirl around her mind, guardians and protectors that visit and guide Schwartz as she navigates the physical earthly plane. The elements that make up her work are her spiritual essence, made real by oil and gouache and wire and resin. She is constantly in dialogue with her materials – the act of creation is not the beginning or the end of the piece, but an extension of an internal landscape. All objects have life, animated through Schwartz’s interpretation of their fundamental nature. Found materials are staples of the studio, repurposed and re-arranged to reflect the personality that Schwartz sees within them. Her work, in essence, is a combination of physical representation and spiritual expression lacking the divide between the two. For Schwartz, making art is not a choice but a necessity to live.