Jesse Mockrin’s paintings combine the high, enduring power of the old masters with the low, fleeting stardom of Korean pop stars. The resulting portraits are angelic frankensteins whose elongated necks and oversized lips belong to both past and present. The black frame creates a timeless space that plays host to creatures who evoke the androgynous boys of Sargent and the dreamy aristocrats of Jane Austen. Feminized to be less threatening, the boys inside these paintings allude to the Never-Never lands of modern day fairy tales like Twilight and the naïve adulation of pop stars like Justin Bieber.
Though we are aware of the profit-driven marketing machine that constructs these unattainable fantasies, we often inhabit them willfully. Our flights into illusion may be sad and escapist, but there is still something powerful about the human ability to believe in things like love, magic and the potential of painting.
Jesse Mockrin (b. Silver Spring, MD 1981) received her MFA from UCSD in 2011 and her BA from Barnard College in 2003. Mockrin has exhibited throughout the United States, most recently participating in the group show “Made in Space” at Night Gallery in Los Angeles and at Venus Over Manhattan and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York (2013). Her work has been acquired by the non-profit ArtNow International in San Francisco. She lives and works in Los Angeles.