Jasmine Worth crafts scenes from fairy tales gone awry—swirling seamlessly between the sweet and surreal, inevitably dipping into the valley of the morbid. She combines dark influences and subtle-yet-serious undertones with raw artistic talent and a rarely seen creativity. Worth's work exudes a strong bearing of individuality, manifested through characters that speak almost vocally and give a new element of depth to an otherwise two dimensional medium. Each scene tells a story and every story is as diverse in emotion as it is in appearance. In anticipation of Worth's latest exhibit at La Luz de Jesus Gallery entitled Cultus Sangine, Lee Joseph had the chance to chat with this unique artist. Here’s what they had to say.
Are your works conceived in bodies/groups? What comes first in your mind, the visual or the idea? Can you take us on a brief tour of your process, from conception to execution?
Often when I'm working on a feature show, I will have a theme that inspires me that I draw inspiration from for that particular body of work. For group shows, I really enjoy working with other people's ideas and interpreting them in my own way. I have a lot of talented friends whose theme ideas for group shows have provided great concepts for pieces. Usually I start with the concept or idea, and the visuals follow. It can be a scrap of writing from an author or philosopher I find interesting, sometimes it's a song lyric or title, something strange a friend said to me, so many things can spark inspiration.
Your pieces are both vibrant and have a velvety quality to them - can you discuss your technique and how you achieve your hue and texture?
I often start with a sketch, I like to rough out a few ideas or compositions before I settle on one. I then work up a loose underpainting in colors that are conducive to the palette I'll be using in the piece. My painting technique consists of a lot of layering and glazing until I get the desired effect.
Who is the dark goddess? What is going on in her mind?
I'm not entirely sure, haha. It's great to pull these characters out of your subconscious, and not really even know where they come from. I've been strongly attracted to the mother/goddess/Virgin Mary image in so much of my work. For me, they are all one and I love depicting the different aspects of her.
Is the cycle of energy which is being neither created nor destroyed something you see around you? Inside you? Both? When and how did you notice this cycle?
I think this concept is something I have grappled with my whole life. I think for many of us, death and darkness can be a scary thing, but seeing it as another phase of a cycle can dismantle that fear and lead to inquiry and exploration. I've been exploring the idea or matter bring neither created nor destroyed in my mind and in my work a lot lately.