Jessica Stoller is a New York City based ceramicist whose works are a colorful, delicious riff on Precious Moments™ statues via the feminine bizarre. They are a fabulous, sometimes frightful, study of the contemporary woman.
Stoller’s creations occupy two territories: the female form and the mess of the delicate. The latter of which includes all the cultural touchstones of that which makes a woman, the things society prescribes as “for girls.” She takes female busts and body parts and muddles them with the weight of ice cream and lady fingers, lace and swans all done in shiny porcelain that you would assume could pop up at some mall store for parents. Folded in are classic still life items—fruits, flowers, butterflies—that push and contextualize the weight of femininity.
This exaggeration moves beyond the piling on and sometimes becomes the female form for Stoller. Instead of lobbing on scoops of ice cream onto a breast, she places breast upon breast upon breast upon breast onto a breast. The effect is a gluttonous amount of woman who oozes and slinks in glassy place. It’s quite fabulous.
Stoller’s woman is a comment about so much. She suggests the consumption of making a gender with the stupid rites of passage that are placed on the expressions and manifestations of the woman. Her statues seem to laugh at history in many ways, both at the history of ceramics that have become inspirational retail gifting and the history of creating things for and of women. They’re a bit science fiction in that regard, the monster made up of society’s demands. They’re easy to giggle at but pose a probably future of desire, for the female body to be quiet and be adored while slathered in whipped cream.
There’s a helplessness, a desire, an anger embedded under Stoller’s shiny grins. They’re perfectly creepy. They haunt and almost beg you to smash them to pieces, to end the misery that they were created for. Seems quite timely for the world we live in.