First published: Summer 2016
Jessica Park’s unique perspective has combined with a remarkable array of artistry to transform the ordinary reality she records so well into a world of visionary excitement. Working from her home in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where she has lived for most of her life, Jessica creates transfigured architectural monuments: skyscrapers, bridges, Victorian mansions, historic landmark buildings, even ordinary houses. The artist often focuses on rooftops, overhanging eves and cornices; the top portions of skyscrapers and bridges to accommodate an upward vantage point, while she substitutes her own visionary elements for existing backgrounds. Known for her rainbow-palette of colors, intricately arranged and harmoniously balanced, Jessica complements the grids of decorative hues that highlight her principle subjects with naturalistic effects that include, most importantly, remarkable skies. These are filled with astronomical phenomena which she researches and includes in a variety of presentations. Her playful imagination generates a cosmic balance where multicoloured images lift off the paper into a separate reality. Jessica often uses an inversion of light and dark – nighttime skies over day-lit buildings/bridges – in the accomplishment of this gesture.
The Flatiron Building #1, with the Double Suns, Jessica Park, 1996, acrylic on paper, 24 x 18 ins. / 61 x 45.7 cm, collection of Anthony Zisa.
Park was born into a household of professional educators and writers. Her mother, Clara Claiborne Park, who taught English literature at Williams College, wrote two memoirs about her exceptional daughter – The Siege (1967) and Exiting Nirvana (2001). David Park, her father, was a professor of Physics at Williams College and authored several books, many of which placed the discipline within a more philosophical context. Jessica’s autism – at first a mystery which threatened to overwhelm her family – has become an important part of who she is as an artist and accomplished person. Rather than succumbing to the news that Jessica was on the spectrum, the Parks rallied and successfully brought her back into the world as an important, contributing member of society. Following the recent deaths of her parents, Park’s three older siblings now watch over their artist sister who is living responsibly alone in the family residence.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #90