Today we’d like to introduce you to Jesse Clark.
Jesse, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in Los Angeles but grew up in the suburbs of San Diego. I was close to the beach and the lagoons. From a very young age, I put an immense amount of pressure on myself to be perfect. If there was anything that I couldn’t improve at I would struggle greatly. Testing in school or getting stuck in a video game were examples of triggers for my anxiety.
I was also creative though and I know now that I needed those creative outlets to allow myself the space to let out my pent up energy on my own terms. Ever since then, I have been making art non-stop. Drawing became an obsession that carried me through my teens years. Once I ended up in college at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago however my practice expanded and continues to do so to this day. My work spans drawing, sculpture, performance, makeup, curation, 3D modeling, illustration, modeling, programming and video.
I’ve lived in Los Angeles for a year and a half now. At this point in my making I’m not too dedicated to any one medium. I’m more concerned with ideas and how to bring them into the world in the most exciting way. Art for me is about psychology and exploration and having a platform to share in that process with other people.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
To clarify, art is not something that I have ever pursued to pay my bills. I work full-time in a design showroom so I have not experienced the struggles of relying on my art to put food on the table.
We all face challenges – whether that be losing a loved one, experiencing heartbreak or any number of things. Art is a way to sort through those feelings. This can happen on so many different level of awareness however. When I’m creating makeup or fashion work it usually starts with a feeling or an image and I create from there without feeling the need to assign too much other external meaning to what I am doing. Other projects I find myself tackling a situation more personal that I have struggled with.
I recently displayed a cake which I had commissioned to be made for ‘Slip of The Tongue’ at Murmurs Gallery in LA. I spent a few weeks in the 3D modeling program Maya digitally sculpting it. Then I gave it to a bakery who baked, decorated and assembled it into reality. The cake was a landscape with a waterfall that led down a mountain and into a whirlpool where there were figures getting sucked down into the spiraling water.
The cake was titled ‘The Only Way to Grieve is to Love Deeply’ and I created it as something to honor and acknowledge the people or relationships that I have lost. For me, I learned that I can only really move on after a loss by making something that demonstrates my love for that person. Once I’ve made something in honor of that relationship it’s a lot easier to let it go. It’s a way for me to process something openly and also provide something sweet for people in return. Everyone was excited to cut into it and eat some cake at the end of the evening.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Warmth Gallery – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I run a non-commercial gallery out of my studio apartment in Hollywood. It’s called Warmth Gallery. It’s an extremely small space that exists in a hallway between my living room and my bathroom. For years in Chicago, I ran apartment gallery spaces with friends and I am carrying on that tradition here in Los Angeles.
For me, it’s been an important way to build community around myself. LA can feel so spread out and isolating. I think that LA is really in need of spaces that exist outside of the commercial art landscape. I get really excited by things that my peers and people in my community create and to have a chance to showcase everyone’s talent makes me really happy. Programming is very fluid – ranging from fundraisers to pop-up shops to fashion shows and of course more traditional art as well.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I have an editorial with artist Fear Safe and photographer Tristan Kallas coming out mid-August on Coeval Magazine. And I have a special event that I am planning for October at Garden Gallery in Echo Park. I’m really excited about those two projects.
Warmth Gallery is going to be having a show with two amazing artists in early September: Alex D. Fisher and Alake Shilling. I think it’s gonna be a great show.
Other than that, I just hope to continue collaborating with people who I admire and continue to push myself and my boundaries.
- Website: jesseclark.us
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jesse.mobile/
- Other: https://www.instagram.com/warmth.gallery/
All portrait / makeup / fashion images I submitted are by Miwah Lee. The rest are by Jesse Clark.