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Interview:  Jessica Westhafer

Bubble Wand, 2022
Oil, watercolor, and glass on canvas
80 x 90 inches (203.2 x 228.6 cm)
© Jessica Westhafer; Photo by Shark Senesac; Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery

Jessica Westhafer (b. 1990, Denver, CO) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA from the University of Arkansas in 2014 and her MFA in Painting from Indiana University in 2020. Using a deceptively playful form of figuration, Westhafer explores psychosocial experiences. Westhafer’s imagery taps into memory and sentiment in order “to invent, reimagine, immortalize and even create” idealized or fictitious narratives. These “surrogate scenes of time and place” arouse feelings of vulnerability through which she invites viewers to revisit their own histories. While very specific in its choice of subject matter and detail, her art captures ineffable aspects of early formative experiences that are universal.