When experiencing the world, one cannot overlook the structures that surround us and give us shelter.The house itself is our first world.Structures house our dreams, memories, secrets and failures.Each space and corner represents a time in our lives. Aged structures retain a history of the experiences and thoughts of its inhabitants.Memories rub off the insides and outsides of the spaces that exist and become a part of us, whether it is our memories of a similar place or the building’s memories of other inhabitants. Architecture is like a man made garden with buildings sprouting up instead of flowers, overcrowding like weeds in our environment. It is a love hate relationship between the necessity of shelter and the taking away of space. I am inspired by its dichotomy of beauty and ugliness, necessary protection and excessive luxury.
When visiting a place, I document my experience with photographs. I photograph curious spaces and ones which have history. I try to pare down the intricate decorative elements and shapes which speak the most of a place. I leave the silhouettes of new structures and instill them with my own thoughts and memories. The impression that is left acknowledges the experience.
My paintings are sculptural. They sprawl from the wall onto the ground and are painted on various types of raw materials such as firewood. I wanted to elevate this wood as the final product instead of a means to an end. Firewood symbolizes one of the most valuable commodities in times past that is now mostly overlooked save an emergency. There is such beauty in these misshapen uneven pieces. I wanted to explore painting on their surface.
I place the paintings in my lap in close proximity to my body.The layering of memories, in addition to transparent and opaque painted layers, illustrates the wisps of thought that arise when remembering a specific location. Painting in such a devoted way, will hopefully reflect the closeness of the viewer’s gaze. The idea that the viewer will share the same space as I while creating the painting is fascinating. Sharing an experience through an object relates to the idea of memories contained in a space.
With the rise in natural disasters comes increasing thought on the strength and importance of structure as well as the significanceof being in the moment. Shelter functionsmore than just protection.
Jessica Demcsak is a New Jersey artist. She received her BFA in Painting from Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, New Jerseyin 1999, her MA in Art Education from Kean University in 2001, and her MFA in Painting from The University of the Arts in Philadelphiain 2004. Demcsak has exhibited in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania area. Her work has beenincluded in New American Paintings Magazine as well as New Jersey Monthly. She currently resides in Bridgewater, New Jersey with her husband and three children.
2004 University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA MFA, Painting
2001 Kean University, Union, NJ MA, Art Education
1999 Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ BFA, Painting
Awards & Honors
2016 Fresh Paint Magazine
2006 Top 30 Under 30 in New Jersey, NJ Monthly Magazine
2005 Grant Recipient, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Food For Thought Fellowship, Sumei Multidisciplinary Art Center
New American Paintings Magazine, #57
2006 “Top 30 Under 30 in New Jersey,” New Jersey Monthly, Morristown, NJ