FORT WORKS ART is pleased to announce “Self Timer”, Dallas artist Jessica McClendon’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. This exhibition will run from November 14, 2018 - December 8, 2018 with an artist reception on November 17th. Self Timer will feature more than 24 oil paintings McClendon has created over the past year from her open-call ‘Selfie’ series, where she invited her social media followers to send her photographs of how they choose to portray themselves. Each painting is a means in which the artist explores the elevation of the everyday individual, moving away from formal portraits that have regularly been reserved for the elite. As a society, we are continuously evolving our own image and how we want to be perceived by those around us. The “selfie” has transitioned into its own art form- composed, developed, and directed by our own desire to be seen. In this series, you will find that most images are captured with a self-timer, allowing the viewers’ perspective to become that of the camera , and in essence they become photographer.
For this body of work, McClendon was drawn to the stories inherent in each thoughtfully cropped representation of an individual. Her panels are covered in saturated colors with thick, painterly strokes used to capture every hint of light and shadow.
In announcing Self Timer, FWA owner and curator Lauren Childs stated, “While these are all photographs taken with a self timer, most of the compositions do not reveal the subjects’ face. They could almost be anyone, which I find most fascinating. Typically the selfie is all about the face, but in McClendon’s work, the selfies have become completely about a centralized piece of light, almost like an energetic source of life where the power is being drawn from.”
McClendon received her MFA in 2017 from Texas Woman’s University and her BFA, graduating suma cum laude from Howard University. Post undergrad, she traveled to India to intern as a labor and birth coach at Booma Hospital in Tamil Nadu. One may have seen her work, most recently, in Fort Works Art’s international contemporary arts exhibition, #28Grams featuring her multilayered portraits. McClendon has been featured all over DFW, in galleries like 500X Gallery, Art Room, Creative Arts Center, Museum of Biblical Arts, as well as TWU Galleries. She has also been a resident artist at Tech Wildcatters at Alto 211 in Downtown Dallas and Woodsong Institute of Art and the recipient of multiple scholarships and Best of Show awards in juried competitions. McClendon teaches as an adjunct at Eastfield College in Mesquite TX and continues to work out of her private studio in Dallas.