Jessica Libor is an artist from Philadelphia, PA who paints and creates installations that deal with beauty, desire, artifice, and feminine experience. She also writes, serving as editor of Eyelevel arts magazine, and keeping an online studio journal. She studied at the Florence Academy of Art and received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2014. She currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.
"I am an artist obsessed with experiences of beauty. My primary medium is oil paint, but I also work in installations and video. In whatever medium I choose for an artwork, I try to convey the visual intensity and emotional high of an experience of beauty.
My aesthetic is influenced by the Rococo and Pre-Raphaelite periods of art history, as well as theatre, set design, high fashion culture and pop romance. I use romantic cliches in my work as vehicles to explore the very real human experiences that are the basis for these overblown stereotypes. In all my work, the human figure is central in carrying the piece or telling a story. Often the figures are set in ideal gardens: lush, bright arcadian landscapes where love could blossom freely. However, there is a sense of distance and observation, a quiet suspicion that pervades the perfection of the scene that all may not be as it seems.
The paintings and installations are also infused with a sense of light. In the paintings, this shows up in the way that light sources are enhanced and made more brilliant. In installations and video, the sensibility is similar in that there are glowing objects, filters, and effects that are use to enhance the effects of natural lighting. This results in a sense of distillation, a still perfection, like a memory or dream. In much of the work, but especially the paintings, true gold and silver leaf are used to add brilliance to the work. The changing nature of light makes this material look different when viewed from different angles, and also physically mimics the precious nature of the scene presented: the moment is worth being encased in gold.
Pattern and rhythm are also present as carriers of meaning in my work. The organic patterning of tree limbs, figures, flowers, and shadows all are used to create a sense of fullness and ornate design. In videos and installation, repeated motifs and objects are used to call attention to certain details.
In all my work, I strive to create an enveloping world that is vivid, compelling and emotionally complex. I would like it if my viewers could step inside this world and fall in love, if only for a moment, with the experience of beauty portrayed. It is this suspension from reality, this perfect moment within an imperfect world, that I aim to capture in my work."
• Paper Dolls, solo exhibition, WeWork, Philadelphia, PA, August 2016
• A.I.R. Annual Postcard Exhibition, group exhibition, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY August 2016
• Diner En Blanc Philadelphia, live painting demo/group exhibition, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, August 2016
• Dressed in Spring, solo exhibition, Lord and Taylor, King of Prussia, PA, May 2016
• The Philadelphia Flower Show, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, March 2016
• Pop Party, donated piece, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, February 2016
• Gardens of Delight, solo exhibition, The Bazemore Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, February 2016
• Fall Into Art, donated piece, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, September 2015
• Rittenhouse Square Art Exhibition, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA, September 2015
• Ballet X Benefit Exhibition, group exhibition, Bridgett Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, 2014
• 113th Annual Student Exhibition, MFA thesis exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, May 2014
• In the Shadow of a Masterpiece, group exhibition, Gallery 128 at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, November 2012
• Backlash, group exhibition, SOHO20 Gallery, New York, NY, July 2012
• One Hundred Dollars, group exhibition, Littlefield Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, July 2012
• Drawn From PAFA, group exhibition, The Barbara Crawford Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, 2011
• Pivotal Pieces, group exhibition, Gallery Eight, Philadelphia, PA, 2011
• Painting in the Modern Tradition, group exhibition, Gallery Eight, Philadelphia, PA, 2010
• In & Out Salon, group exhibition, Anderson Arts Center, Anderson, SC, 2010
• Travels and Far-Away Places, 2 person exhibition with Adam Robitaille, Art and Light Gallery, Greenville, SC, 2010
• Anderson Art Show, group exhibition, Anderson, SC, 2007
•Art for Hearts, Zen Events, group exhibition benefiting Greenville Children’s Hospital, Greenville, SC, 2010
•Dreams of Radiance, solo exhibition, Art and Light Gallery, Greenville, SC, 2008
•MFA Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 2014, Philadelphia, PA
•Grand Central Academy of Art, New York, NY, 2011-2012
•Florence Academy of Art, Florence, Italy, Summer 2009, Spring 2012
• Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA, 2006