Interview: Jessica Müller
Luca Curci talks with Jessica Müller during ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021, at Medina Art Gallery.
Jessica Müller is a Swiss-Brazilian artist who lives and works in Brooklyn – NY. Born in 1989, her distinctive and personal style emanates the richness of growing up between complete opposite countries, cultures and environments – and the clash of such contrasts. Combining different textures, mixed techniques, colors and materials Jessica explores through vibrant tactile paintings and sculptures her multi-cultural background, her faded memories, internal conflicts, moments of nostalgia, and the constant search of feeling at home within ourselves – an idea of belonging and self identity. Jessica graduated in Design at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro – Brasil, and in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts – New York.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Jessica Müller – I am currently working on a series of 18 paintings and 8 sculptures for a future exhibition inspired by my main subject of artistic interest: Identity studies based on a multicultural background. In this particular series I am working on creating conceptual landscapes, combining the tropical scenery of Brazil, among the chaos and colors of the brazilian traditions – in opposition with the cold Alps and frozen lakes of Switzerland, with all its organization, discipline and punctuality that has made the Swiss culture so vastly known for. An abstract interpretation of a unique amalgamation of mixed heritage, customs and traditions that made me who I am – a mirror for every person that sees my art to delve into their own cultural collage.
LC – What is art for you?
JM – Art is a physical manifestation of my thoughts, emotions, experiences, dreams and desires. It is a mirror that shows the reflection of my most inner self. I always searched to find my own voice, identity and sense of belonging. For me, art is a form of expression and an extension of my personality, it speaks for myself when words are not enough. Art is a glimpse, a brief moment inside the artist’s most vulnerable state. It is an invitation to the viewer into the artist’s mind, memories and consciousness.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
JM – I grew up in a very creative environment. My father was a brilliant artist, sculptor, writer, architect, designer – a true Renaissance man. My mother always encouraged me to be creative, to explore, to love films, music and museums. Painting was always easier than words to me, so when it came to studying, Fine Arts was a natural choice. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. My father being Swiss and my mother Brazilian, created a very particular dynamic in my upbringing with extremely different backgrounds, culture and traditions. And I believe that that miscegenation was the fundamental starting point behind my conceptual work as an artist.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
JM – I find inspiration on the simplest of things. I pay attention to people when they talk to me. I like to observe how they behave. Conversations I overhear on the subway. When I remember things that I thought I had forgotten. News I see on TV. Classic movies that still move me. Photobooks of family members I never had the chance to meet. History books and poetry. Everything interests me and everything is a fuel for an artistic creation.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
JM – I believe everyone’s experience is unique. However, nowadays the visibility is greater with online platforms, but consequently it creates a stronger competition. Being an artist is not a choice, it is something so inherently in you that you can’t just simply ignore and shut it down. An artist will be an artist even when there is nothing to paint with, or no instruments to play. They will endure the toughest of times and still create Art – and that is the true meaning of being an artist, and I think it hasn’t changed through time. I create because I couldn’t survive without it, independently if my art is being seen or not.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
JM – My style is constantly changing, evolving and mutating. It has to. I am always searching to learn more, to grow alongside my work, to see things with a different perspective. I love experimenting with new ideas, materials and techniques. My work is autobiographical, and much like myself it is never finished, it’s a constant work-in-progress.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
JM – My pieces that are being exhibited here in Medina Art Gallery with the Rome International Art Fair are inspired in fantastical and illusory landscapes, territorial conflicts and multicultural identities studies. Coming from a multicultural family, and growing up between vastly different countries, my work has always been very much inspired by the pursuit of belonging and self-identity. Based on historical and social studies on multiculturality, territorial conflicts, cultural amalgamation and the search of what constructs one’s identity, “Mixing Identities” and “Future Landscape” was the perfect concept for an exhibition to have my work in display.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
JM – It was a very interesting experience. I was very honored to be invited to have my work exhibited in such a wonderful and tradicional venue in Venice such as the Misericordia Archives, and at the Medina Art Gallery in Rome. ItsLiquid Group has many exhibitions, events and art fairs not only all over Europe, but throughout the world. And that is an incredible opportunity for emerging and established artists to be seen and their voices heard.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
JM – The concept of an art platform based on fluidity, connection and accessibility is extremely important for contemporary artists such as myself. I find it very inspiring to have the opportunity to connect with other artists, collectors and art critics. The virtual platform has opened many doors for the art scene that was before limited by a physical distance.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
JM – Yes. I am happy that this festival embraces artists from a plurality of backgrounds, the diversity of the art exhibited was very inspiring. As an artist I am always searching to connect with the audience on a deeper level, and for the viewers to see a glimpse of themselves reflected in my work.