Instagram was the rabbit hole in which I discovered Episode 83's featured artist. I didn't have to look hard. In fact, it was a chain reaction. I fell in love with Holly Coulis' electrified painted tablescapes after seeing her work in a show a few years back. When I checked out her social media sites, lo and behold, there was Ridley Howard and his gorgeous, haunted portraits.
And whom did they follow?
None other than Jessica Brilli and her suspended midcentury modern-esque compositions.
There is so much I love about Brilli's work. The nostalgia, connection, compositional drama that has an outlaw feeling to it . . . Her aesthetic seems a cross between Wes Anderson and Edward Hopper, not to mention that frozen palette of kodachrome colors . . . Psychologically, one feels as though they are stepping back in an era where few people exist: we are somewhere between memory, dreams, and captured images. We cannot specifically identify the people that are suspended in her portraits- however, we feel like we somehow know them or have seen them before. Somewhere on the top shelves of our closets, in our basements, in shoeboxes under our beds, or in musty old attics- we all have vintage photographs that resemble Brilli's work, thus making her paintings so familiar- but so far away. Preserved yet fleeting . . . We feel like we can smell the developing chemicals and sense the film on our fingertips after looking at her work. The vacancy left in her compositions allows our minds to fill in the spaces with sounds that echo abandonment (it's like I can hear theme song from an old Clint Eastwood movie). Timeless style and rebellious coolness all meld together into the vibe of her aesthetic, blending history, Americana, and pop culture- thus making her work a relevant extension of realism that relies on our society's collective memory.
We chatted with Jessica in Episode 83 of The Large Glass. Check it out!