By Jess Kwiatkowski
This is the last article in a series featuring the artists in PaLatte Art & Coffee from 4/06/18 to 06/30/18. Read the introduction and first article here.
Jesse Wallace – www.jesseswallace.com
A little bit about yourself?
I have been making art for more than 10 years. I am going to start working over at the Hot Spot (studio space), right now. I went to Art School at an art school which was basically entertaining. After failing the first semester of sculpture class I felt alienated by my peers. I left a note on their lives with the work I created. Sure of that. A polaroid at least. I won Best In Show my senior year for their exhibit, “Young Contemporaries”. I joined up with the armory since then at Urban Electric Co and Landrum Tables. Working them early shifts. Learning the tools and the trade. And knowing where I’d put that skill. Knowing how to translate the forms. I have plenty of blueprints for the material I’ve hoarded. Oh, and I’m from Charleston, SC, I moved here last year. =)
Your mediums as well as your styles in this installation have a lot of variation. Is there anything that unifies these pieces?
Form, content, Symbol.
Your brass hanging sculptures meld simple larger shapes in the frame with intricate details in the focal points. One reminds me of a bird house; another reminds me of a clock. When you started making these, what was your intent?
My small brass sculptures are experiments of form and materials. I am working on translation of form to visual conception. It is probing of emotional relay. I pull from eastern and western design. At NYPL public domain. They have everything.
The “Apathetic Earth” piece has a sort of pop-art or 8-bit style to it which makes looking at it pleasing, despite the skull and the idea of mortality as a human race suggested in the title. What do you think is achieved by this perversity of design and message?
I’m happy to hear that the content of the piece came through to you. Apathetic Earth was intending to create an unadulterated narrative. That was very important to me. It is simple; we will die, it will go on. The concept humbles a man, doesn’t it. It’s something that shows us what humanity is. And it is bold. Because, obviously… We know. And truly, we don’t really care.
Based on this installation, you seem to use a lot of different mediums and materials. What has been the most difficult medium to work with so far?
CNC and laser cutting has been available to me through the Geek Group and The Makerspace here in GR. It has been incredible challenging to learn the processes to the point it changed my approach to creating work. Reproducibility and exact design. I heard the term G-code there for the first time in my life— however you want to measure that against me.
Your artist statement discusses some of the themes that you create in order to defy them. What about our contemporary society drives the idea of “independence as isolation”?
It speaks of the progression of Industrialization. How we have created cars and developed ways of escaping our homes. We do this to find ourselves. I am literally in the processes of this. But the search can become endless. And we can become independent, isolated; a lonely rooster in an empty house (the lock in the hole). A lonely Birdhouse.