Jessica Lichtenstein

Artist Jessica Lichtenstein uses the female body as a mechanism to explore deeper themes of power, female representation, and objectification. Her work plays with the boundaries of power, commercialization, consumerism, fantasy and propriety, provoking tensions that challenge the viewer.

Her faceless, repeating effeminate forms represent both the community of women in the world and the individual characteristics that make up a single woman. Varied body positions differentiate each figure and yet harmoniously contribute to the texture of the leafy, vibrant trees that unifies them.

Lichtenstein manipulates the presentation and context of anime dolls in order to imbue them with new associations and richer meaning. The artist, a graduate of Yale University, has exhibited her work extensively in solo and group shows over the last decade. In 2013, Lichtenstein started creating landscape pieces that infused women as the foliage of trees, in order to investigate the simultaneous anonymity and specificity of the female characters. From a distance, her silhouettes resemble blossoming trees. Look closer, however, and you’ll notice that each flower is a female body contorted into a unique position. The physiques are faceless, alluding to the male gaze’s tendency to reduce women to their body parts. But for Lichtenstein, these women are in the midst of a revolution. “These women are emerging from the shadows and revealing themselves, revealing their stories,” she states of her figures. Lichtenstein’s landscapes teeming with women offer a vision of a fertile future, where women’s bodies form a lush army that is both sensual and strong.

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