Jessie Mott is a Chicago-based visual artist whose work spans an array of media, including drawing, painting, ceramics, and collaborative projects. She is best known for her watercolor drawings of hybrid creatures that explore a perverse fascination with the “natural” world where erotic fantasy, queer monstrosity, and the threat of violence, both real and imagined, coalesce within portrait-like frames. Her animations made with the artist and writer Steve Reinke have been screened widely at national and international venues such as International Film Festival Rotterdam, VIDEOEX International Experimental Film & Video Festival in Zürich, and the Whitney Biennial. Mott has also participated in numerous group and solo shows including Devening Projects + Editions and the Hyde Park Art Center. Mott received a Master’s of Fine Arts in the Department of Art Theory & Practice from Northwestern University, and a B.S. in Studio Art from New York University.
My practice focuses on themes of identity and power by exposing unstable perceptions of the queer body. Using an array of media, including drawing, painting, ceramics, I give life to creatures that negotiate permeable boundaries. My creatures coalesce within portrait-like frames, as if emerging from a void. Bound up in desire, mourning, and anxiety, my work disrupts the margins of human and animal, abstraction and figuration, and interior and exterior worlds. This psychological space embraces defiance, rage, longing, celebration, vulnerability, and aggression as primary modes of representation.
Recent work leans heavily towards gouache drawings on paper and collaborative projects such as: Like Queer Animals, an artist book of drawings and essays in progress with the queer scholar and writer Chantal Nadeau; and ongoing irreverent animations with artist Steve Reinke. The latter are akin to psychedelic children’s cartoons and combine my absurdist dialogues with my own drawing and Reinke’s iconoclastic visualscape.