2010 by Jessica Grindstaff
Bushwick Studios; http://jessicagrindstaff.com/
Jessica Grindstaff had an open studio at Bushwick over the weekend, which is how I stumbled across her interesting work. The studio was attic like, all wood and filled with curious objects — stuffed birds hiding in a red musical box or clock frame, a mounted and decorated moose-head missing a nose and dried foliage caught in box frames. In contrast to these her other venture, her ‘prizes’, gleam pinned across the wall; ribbons of all colours centred by small gold figurines. These are animals or symbols — bees, dogs, frogs, insects, horses, stars, hearts and a skull & crossbones — all rest in the luxurious shine and folds of their rosettes. The ribbon is luscious in silk carried by its colour, deep greens, pastel blues, pale pinks and regal purples. The effect is interesting, the intricacy and jewel-like quality of the gold delicately moulded symbols, with the flamboyance of rich colour and excess material erupting from them. The idea is a good one, that gifts should be able to be prizes that people deserve to be rewarded. Grindstaff herself has awarded her prizes to many, musicians such as Bjork and authors like Lemony Snicket. However, they work equally well as art, many adorning one wall, as they do in the studio. They are beautiful, but cannot shake their connotations of needing to be for something or someone; we cannot help question why and what for as we look at them, a poignant notion in itself.