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Open Thread - Blog


March 6th, 2009
Erin Goldberger

 

jessicgardocki1Photo by Erin Goldberger

Jessica Gardocki, originally from Hillsdale, NJ, is a freshmen art major at Carnegie Mellon University. Although she is young, Jessica already has come up with some pretty novel ideas and inspiring creations. I foresee Jessica moving forward successfully in the Pittsburgh art world and beyond. Find out more about Jessica by visiting her website: http://www.jessicagardocki.com/

OT Blog: I know you are heavily involved with painting… would you consider that your main medium of artwork?

Jessica Gardocki: I love to paint. For me, it is the ultimate zen experience, but I would never want to limit myself to one medium. I use whatever will work best for the piece and subject matter. Ha ha ha, as it turns out, most of my work is done in oil paint.

OT Blog: What interests me most about your work are the interesting social projects that you involve yourself in. Could you tell me about a few of them?

Jessica Gardocki: The Sex Addict project: This was mostly inspired by that children’s story where a Panda, unhappy with his identity, wears new animal skins to experience the jungle in a new light. I spent 2 weeks studying the thoughts and habits of an obsessive compulsive sexual addict. Then I forced myself to think these thoughts until they came naturally, and well, thoughts and actions are sometimes the same thing, uh. Next Step! I found an “in” with a local Sexaholics Anonymous group and after a long interview was allowed to attend a meeting, many meetings, and entered the mind of a sexaholic. I definitely had a biased assumption of, but they are all people, and they all work in the local Pittsburgh area–just with an interesting obsession. To display my emotional journey I photographed my performance piece into a little black book, parallel to the little white book we all receive at our first meeting.

jessica_g12Pittsburgh’s Nightmares:

After studying Freud and Kant’s view on the subconscious mind– I proposed a theory: all nightmares are reflective of past traumatic events that otherwise and our conscious could not deal with. So I placed clip boards all over Pittsburgh asking to hear nightmares, stories, symbols, anything! The reactions were interesting, and mostly proved my theory correctly. I made a head board out of a painting (done while blind folded to reflect the subconscious mind) and placed abstract representations of the dreams into an interactive pull out pillow.

jessica_g32OT Blog: I know that you also work with human and animal rights projects too?

Jessica Gardocki: Most of my work deals with civil rights and environmental sustainability, I spent most of my life demonstrating in NYC with Amnesty International, and it’s inevitable that my personal life will be in my artwork. I want my art to really make a difference, even if it’s just a smile or a burst of motivation, it will have served its purpose.

OT Blog: Who has most inspired you in your work so far?

Jessica Gardocki: Most of my work is inspired by Barbara Yeterian, a fellow artist, as well as my mentor and companion. She herself has done a series on the Armenian Genocide and taught me almost everything I know about art. She’s wonderful.

OT Blog: Who are some artists that have inspired you?

Jessica Gardocki: Barbara Yeterian, Oscar Kokoschka, Lucian Freud, and Frida

OT Blog: What do you think about the Pittsburgh art scene so far?

Jessica Gardocki: I’m still fresh to the Pittsburgh art scene, but so far, I really appreciate the many experiences and art galleries in the area. There is always a lecture to attend, or new exhibit displayed in the Carnegie!

jessica_g23OT Blog: What drew you to the CMU Art department?

Jessica Gardocki: When I was 17, I spoke to a CMU school of Art alumna, and she informed me that at CMU the main goal is to develop your own style, and you have the liberty and guidance to do so. She was right. The professors are great and I enjoy every single one of my classes, CMU has really allowed me to broaden my idea of what art can be–and how to make my art.

OT Blog: What are you currently working on now?

Jessica Gardocki: I’m studying the human figure and mostly creating oil paintings and drawings.

 



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