Monday, 25 August 2014 15:15

West Michigan's Choice: Jessica Bohus

Written by  Anya Zentmeyer
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You were received the People’s Choice Award at the West Michigan Area Show for your wire sculpture “Running on Air.” How does it feel to win an award based on the popular vote of your audience? 

I think the thing I like about ArtPrize is that it started out being more of a "people's choice" kind of movement. Maybe it's harder for the vast humanity to pick what is considered “high art,” but if the vast humanity's opinion is valid, then why not have them pick what they like? Art is in the eye of the beholder and I'm happy to be appreciated. 

How long did “Running on Air” take to create?

I don't set a time clock… That's another one of those things where it’s like, yes, that took me this long, but it took me my whole life to get to the point where it took me this long. So, I do a lot of horses and then in an installation situation I'll bring a few extras and then put up the ones that I think fit together as a grouping. I've used that title a lot, because I like the idea of running on air and I think it has a lot of good metaphors for me, but the horses under that title have been in many different installations and art shows. 

You said in a release following the West Michigan Area Show you compared the process of working with steel to working with a three-dimensional drawing. What do you mean by that?

I really enjoy being able to sort of pose them in whatever scene they’re in. Sometimes I'll install them and I'll have to rearrange how they fit together -- bend a leg here, or move his tail around or put his nose over by that guy -- they relate as a herd together. I like the idea that most of what you're seeing is in your head. There are the lines behind the shape, but the shape is all in your head. I like that about art in general. 

You’ve mentioned before that you like making horses “because they’re full of contradictions.” Your ArtPrize bio also talks about sculptures as “carved air,” which is also kind of a contradiction. Is it fair to say thematically speaking, you like the idea of contradictions in art?

It’s almost invisible, some of what I do. It’s there, but it’s not there, and it’s hard to document. I find it interesting that these pieces hang on the world around them, much more so than a painting.

What inspires you? 

I'm out a lot. I walk a lot. I have a lot of horses in my area. I read a lot. It's all in my head; I try and feed my head good things.

Interview conducted and condensed by Anya Zentmeyer. Edited by Lindsay Patton-Carson

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