JESS KRICHELLE: SHE BENDSSydney Cummings
This week we are proud to highlight neon artist Jess Krichelle! Jess has been fabricating neon since 2018 and since then has thrown herself in the fires, literally and figuratively speaking, to learn all that she can about the physics and art form of all things neon.
“I am fascinated by the natural world being destroyed and replaced by humans and technology,” Jess said. “I wanted to create my very own dystopian portrayal of an electrified waterfall surrounded by a combination of real and synthetic plants. A big inspiration for this piece [Synthetic Cascade] was a Ray Bradbury short story called ‘The Long Rain’, a tragic story following a few soldiers after they crash on Venus, where it’s always raining, and their search for a synthetic sun dome until they’re driven mad. I made this piece with clear glass and filled it with ArHg.”
Inspired by her parent’s love for ’80s, their influence has boldly shaped her creations today. In this article, you’ll see a range of Jess’s work, including her favorite piece to date, Synthetic Cascade.
Jess’s style is one that is unique to the industry, creating organic bodies or shapes that mimic synthetic versions of themselves – challenging the false dichotomy between art and science.
“At the moment, I’m focused on the highly controversial synthetic verses natural conversation. Only with biomimicry can we begin to appreciate the natural world and its complexities.”
“One of the most captivating traits about working with neon is its room for invention. It’s not a thoroughly explored medium and I think its ties to chemistry can really catapult it beyond an artistic medium.”
Abitech has been honored to be Jess’s go-to neon shop for classic glass over the years.
“I really appreciate that you can purchase as many sticks as you need and not have to commit to a box,” Jess said. “Abitech was the one place I frequented for my neon supplies in LA. Once you find a place that feels like home it’s hard to stray far from it.”
Being a part of an amazing group like She Bends has given Jess a sense of community.
“I really love being part of a community that has no secrets,” Jess said. “Everyone is willing to share how they created something. Collaboration breeds community in my opinion.”
Whether she is working or on her off time, you can believe Jess eats, sleeps, and breathes neon and research behind the science of it all.
“If I’m not bending I am researching ways to further my understanding of its physics, new ways to portray neon, and reading about it.”
She is also working on a short film that investigates the history, chemistry, craft, and future of neon being told through the eyes of womxn identifying artists.
Through all of her research and artwork, Jess’s number one hope for
future generations is to realize that neon is more than a sign.
HOW TO SUPPORT
Show your support by following Jess on Instagram @jesskrichelle along with @shebendsneon and be on the lookout for upcoming shows and the release of the short film that Jess is a part of.