Progress by Jessica

For Project 4, “The Unsocial Life,” the challenge was: The unsocial life: capture your solitude in a series of photos. Take pride in the time you spend being with yourself and share it.


“Progress” by Jessica Park
My parents hate cats.
When I was young I thought success meant to be a dog- to be happy, lovable, social, and dumb. I poured hours upon hours into teaching myself the art of extraversion so that my parents wouldn’t be ashamed of the lone child, in a popular playground, drawing lines by herself in the sand. I gave up cross country for soccer and orchestra for theatre and came back with mixed results. But I never gave up visual arts.
I bonded with my very first cat at an obnoxious college party I had allowed somebody to drag me to. I kept up appearances, threw back a few shots, made small talk with the regulars, until one of the hosts told me that my drunken friend had crawled under his bed.
“What are you doing?” I asked her incredulously.
“I want to pet the cat!” she slurred back.
I bent to look under the bed. A pair of golden eyes, glimmering in a clear shade of annoyance, betrayed the position of the otherwise obscurred cat.
“Me too, cat,” I sighed as I dragged my friend out by her feet.

To see more work by Jessica, click here.

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Jacquelyn: Two thoughts I had while observing your photo: 1) you are an amazing artist! and 2) the ability for you to transport me into your photo and act as an in-person observer to you sketching was a feat in and of itself. Though the trilogy of photos perfectly told the story of “your unsocial life,” my favorite of the three photos was the first; the strategic composition of each object (the sketchbook, computer, and drink) created three separate, diagonal frames within one photo. I especially liked how you altered the tint of the photo, bringing my focus to the black and white contrast of your cat and drawing. Fantastic job!

Amanda: Can I just say I LOVE your artist’s statement? It’s such a different style than anything I would ever write since I typically go for long explanations or poems. Beyond that, though, it’s impressive how the tone of your voice matches with that of your photo set. It’s unexpected, quirky and energetic, yet clearly at peace with being alone. I particularly like how your set flows as a progression – it shows a passing of time, yet the three varying settings creates a distinct feel between each moment. That being said, I did find the first photo a little too different from the rest of the set – perhaps due to the black & white format (the uncolored banana seemed odd) or the presenece of technology. I find your second photograph to be the most powerful – the drawing is close enough to being fully formed to hold power on its own, but the eraser scraps and pencils laying carelelssly show the presence of the artist. Bravo on a great set!

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