The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
One of the most arresting visuals for me is an old wall layered with papers, graffiti and text- our modern hieroglyphics. I try to re-create this beauty in my work, the layers of time and decay are what interest me. I hope that the person viewing my work will linger, trying to discover hidden imagery and text and depending on their life experience, find their own meaning or interpretation.
Found images and objects function as signifiers of both individual and collective experience. By incorporating materials that are linked to the realities of daily life, I strive to establish an immediate identification between the viewer and the work of art. I am exploring the place between “high art” and popular culture, text and image, figuration and abstraction, past and present , and two and three-dimensional space.
I begin working without a final vision in mind: I use collected materials and allow pattern, texture, color and structure to emerge organically. In this current body of work, I want the pieces to evoke the walls of Morocco, a Renaissance Church, a NYC subway wall and a hint of Malibu Barbie all simultaneously existing on one canvas.
“There exists an obvious struggle between the natural world and that which we build and construct. Living in the modern world forces us to find a balance. Ricci’s work accomplishes just that: it’s at once elegant and gritty; urban and earthy. And the real treat of Jill’s pieces, is that each time you revist the piece, you will likely find something you had never noticed before.”- Emily Asher Neiman, Director Asher Neiman Gallery
“In our modern and sleek world, we find fascination in old things and places. These are objects with a story, subway walls wallpapered with layer upon layer upon layer of poster ads or the stratum of paints on a bedroom wall, showing us the history of its owners. These are the ideas New Jersey artist Jill Ricci strives to convey in her work, those hidden discoveries.
By combining elements of advertising ephemera, fabric, wallcoverings and abstraction, Ricci’s work manages to feel at once ancient and modern.
With contemporary graphics layered under the patina of paint, these pieces almost feel like we are peeling back the scales from the antiquated to find that what is hidden beneath is not obsolete, but avant-garde.
The artist’s layering collected materials mirrors society’s ever abiding search for the next big thing. We are constantly looking for the latest gadget, fashion or whatchmacallit that will give us joy. But perhaps, joy doesn’t come from the newest thing, but looking back with fondness and learning from what has come before.” ~ Lesley Frenz, Art Critic, 2012
Jill Ricci is also the co-director & co-owner of Parlor Gallery located in Asbury Park, NJ (www.parlor-gallery.com)