Biography

"Most of my paintings take place in the past before I was born. Through these paintings I’m engaging with the past, and bringing along the viewer for the ride."

Jessica Brilli, an American artist, gained her BFA in painting at the University of Rhode Island and holds a certificate in graphic design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Her style of work is reminiscent of American realism and 20th century graphic design, revealing beauty in everyday scenes of life. As an established artist, Jessica’s work has been included in various publications and online venues, both nationally and internationally, and in 2021 she was named a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grantee.

Her most recent body of work reflects the subject matter of 35mm Kodachrome slides vintage photographs that were gathered from locations across the US. These ambiguous paintings allow the viewer to insert themselves into those scenes, creating their own personal narratives.

Jessica’s work is highly personal and echoes her own childhood in New York on Long Island. She portrays this in the suburban scenes of cars on driveways, meticulously mowed lawns and neighbouring pools, with a delicate 1960s backdrop.

The artist aims to explore the effects of colour on our memory, and through creating narratives that took place before her birth, her works act as a window to the back. Engages with the past, bringing two timelines together, bringing the viewer along for the ride.

Jessica Brilli

ARTIST STATEMENT

My most recent body of work was inspired by 35mm Kodachrome slides and generations-old photographs that were gathered from locations across the United States. Through my experience of painting and sharing these photos, I have found that there is something inherent in them that speaks to many Americans, whether it be a photo taken at a pool party in 1965 or of someone’s mother standing in front of the family car—we insert our own lives into these scenes from the past. 

I view thousands of slides and photos to find the ones that move me emotionally. I’m constantly on the hunt for photos that mirror scenes from my childhood, or that I feel a connection to through personal or familial experience.

The suburban scenes I paint reflect my own childhood in New York on Long Island. The cars proudly displayed on driveways, the meticulously manicured lawns, inviting neighbor’s pools, and 1960’s architecture were the backdrop of my youth. Though I don’t live in this setting anymore, I still feel a significant connection to it. 

This process of photographic research, and painting the essential scenic components, is very personal. I’ve realized, however, that my experiences are part of a common thread that many Americans share regardless of age, race and gender. The images that produce a flood of involuntary memories for me often evoke similar cascades of feelings and thoughts in others. Why is this? 

Another angle I’m interested in exploring is the effect of color on memory. When looking at vintage photography, I see the color as a built-in time stamp. Different types of film age in various ways because of unstable color dyes—the faded color scheme adds a Gestalt effect that evokes these nostalgic feelings. Most of my paintings take place in the past before I was born. The photographs that inspire me act as my window to the past, and in my own case these photos color my impression of the past. Through these paintings I’m engaging with the past, and bringing along the viewer for the ride. 

Exhibitions

ART MIAMI: Booth AM219, 6 - 10 December 2023
Booth AM219

ART MIAMI: Booth AM219

6 - 10 December 2023
WINTER TALE, 23 November - 31 December 2023
Westbourne Grove

WINTER TALE

23 November - 31 December 2023
SUMMER DAZE, 21 July - 3 September 2023
Maddox Street

SUMMER DAZE

21 July - 3 September 2023
Bringing together a kaleidoscope of talent, “Summer Daze” is an opportunity to discover a range of artists who have never been shown before by Maddox. Spanning both our Maddox Street and Westbourne Grove galleries in London, the group exhibition reflects on the daily cycle, with each artist capturing an element of a summer’s day through a diverse range of approaches. A place to discover some of th…
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