Monday, October 22, 2007

Art Space Talk: Jessie Joo

Jessie Joo is an artist originally from Seoul, Korea. Jessie has studied the structure of the metaphysical and material side of reality extensively-- which has led the artist to depict them as an individual universe with its own mechanism. Most of Jessie Joo's works are water color paintings, however the artist also creates oil paintings and installations. Jessie is especially interested in capturing ephemeral moments of our lives.

Brian Sherwin: Jessie, tell us about your educational background. Do you have formal training in art? If so, who were your instructors and how did they influence you?

Jessie Joo: I earned a BFA and MFA at the School of Visual Arts in NY. Although I studied at the SVA for 6 years, my academic training came from high school years in Korea. In my college years I had good teachers like Donald Kuspit, Paul Waldman, Gary Stephan and many others, but without Silas Rhodes I couldn’t have finished my education. One of my many influences came from a lecture by Donald Kuspit about the Sensation in art. It is just a small portion and it would be hard to name every influence because every single bit of influence made good and profound impact on me whether I fully realize it or not.

BS: Tell us about your early artistic influences and experiences. When did you decide to pursue art?

JJ: I attended a Kindergarten with a good art program, my interest started growing from that moment and the winter of my last year in middle school I decided to become a painter. I can not mention any artistic influences and experiences, but everything was built up gradually over an extended period of time; my parents devotion to God and Neighbor throughout their life, my art teachers, Masters in art, faith, friends, difficult years in High School, etc. But finally I considered myself an artist upon finishing graduate school.
BS: Jessie, with that said, how would you say that your work has advanced since that time?

JJ: I’ve gotten older and my art has matured with me. I don’t see anything as being really advanced, some part of it becames more sophisticated in regards to mastering medium. But as a whole I start seeing white hairs in my black hairs, an increase in wrinkles, trying hard to control my bear belly. I try to work out to keep them in shape.

BS: Jessie, is there anything else you would like to tell us about your background in regards to how your art has evolved?

JJ: I will put it this way, I try not to evolve into a money-maker, but reality makes it extremely hard.

BS: Jessie, can you go into detail about your artistic process? How do you begin a piece? When do you know that a piece is finished?

JJ: I lay down an ink drop, any form, when the drop leaves me, I have no longer control over it. I wait until where the image leads, and then I start adding my opinion and response with my brush to it.

For me there are two kinds of artists, one believes he completed his work, the other hopes to finish and struggle, but never complete. I remember Robert Motherwell in his interview. The interviewer asked him 'did you ever make any masterpiece?', to which Motherwell responded that maybe he did but he didn’t know, he probably went away without knowing it, or maybe there are none.
BS: Jessie, how does current world events influence your work? In other words, how does contemporary life impact your creative practice?

JJ: I am pretty much saddened by most of them, but facing the reality of my own gives me enough trouble-- just look at the life of Van Gogh. I try as much as I can to avoid a similar life. After all, art is about another struggle within me, I think contemporary life has less of an impact in my art-- if you meant it as surrounding.

BS: Jessie, tell us more about the philosophy behind your art. What motivates you to create?

JJ: I like to borrow the words from two people-- Victor Hugo and Gao Xingjian:

"Music expresses that which can not be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."

"Painting starts where words fail or are inadequate in expressing what one wants to express.."

Me, I am not good at anything else. Art is what I am good at.

BS: Jessie, why did you choose to work in the medium(s) that you use?

JJ: You have it wrong... it goes the other way around-- the mediums choose me. As long as they give me enough work to do, I go on.

BS: Jessie, what is your studio like? Can you go into detail about your studio routine? Do you work in silence-- listen to music.

JJ: My studio has many different kinds of art, in terms of style and Genre. I pray a bit and read news on the Internet and then decide which art I’ll see to. Then the struggle begins, is it too simple?

I grew up listening to classical music and Gospel. Most of the time I listen to them while I confront my art, but I think it has nothing to do with my art. It all depends on what kind of mood I am in. Often the music fails to change my mood, but a good meeting between me and my art makes a difference.

BS: Jessie, what are you working on at this time?

JJ: Landscape painting, I’ve got to feed my family. But in my head I am working on a big drawing from the Head series and Horn series.

BS: Are you involved with any upcoming exhibits? Where can our readers view your work?

JJ: I recently moved to NC from NY and I'm in the process of looking for a place to exhibit. You can always check in on and search ‘Jessie Joo’.

BS: The internet is changing how we discover and view art. In your opinion, how have sites like empowered artists?

JJ: It helped me to see who is out there and what kind of art is out there, but artwork needs to be seen in person. The Internet gives us information, but you cannot feel the soul of the artist through it.

BS: Finally, what are your goals as an artist? What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

JJ: One day I wish I could complete my art, and say to my son, " See, I finished."

You can read more of my interviews by visiting the following page--

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

No comments: