Jessica Brandl is an intriguing artist, with a great appreciation for the the potential provided by the surface space of her utilitarian ceramic ware. Brushed onto the surfaces of platters and vessels in great detail are complex narratives of psychological endeavor. There seems at first glance to be something of the surreal in her images but upon closer inspection of her uncanny landscapes and interiors, they evoke the teeming spaces of Hieronymus Bosch, as minute characters emerge from the sights of devastation, as in Manifest,. Even spaces that at first appear more ordered, in that picturesque sense, are disturbed by impending disruption and unusual, but obvious juxtapositions, or as the artist says - “misplaced objects”. Such as the darkly titled Dead Ponies, a historical trope on American history that appeals to this viewer with it’s poetic realism, if not to others.
History and literature seem to be a major touchstone for this Midwestern artists as too are a sense of voyeurism and desire to mess with scale.
Thanks to 50 Years / 50 Women: A Celebration of Women in Ceramics for bringing this artist to my attention.