August 2018 Feature Artist - Jessica Nissen


"Convulsive beauty will be veiled-erotic, fixed-explosive, 
magic-circumstantial, or it will not be."
 Andre Breton, Mad Love

You Don't Love Me Yet
oil on panel, 40" x 40"

At first glance, Jessica Nissen’s paintings might seem to mirror the girly-world view of what it means to be female—sugar and spice and everything nice. But that is far from the message behind her alluring, candy-colored confections.

 Grotto - Enter HERE
oil on panel, 21" x 21"

These psychological dreamscapes are provocative, sensual, and menacing. Nissen’s sophisticated balance of imagery speeds super-saturated colors and compositions along a peppermint highway, populated with hostage bunnies and draped with entrails, sometimes ending in a sugary/syrupy nuclear blast.

The Fat Canary Journal celebrates Nissen’s work which embraces the manifestos of surrealism, and with it brings her own hallucinogenic visions in pink.

 Peppermint Racetrack
oil on panel, 16" x 16"


Since 1991 Jessica has exhibited paintings, drawings and installations extensively, and has participated, both as an artist and as an organizer/curator, in several large-scale interdisciplinary art events.

She lives in NYC, where she works as a scenic artist for the entertainment industry and has a studio in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Jessica received an MFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art in 1998, a BA from Middlebury College in 1990 and earned undergraduate credits from the Rhode Island School of Design and Tyler.

Garnet Peppermint Racetrack
oil on panel, 16" x 16"


I found a transparent spider- and was terrified but kept looking. I thought I could see its little organs working. When I was 11 years old in my one and only camp experience, I was struck by lightning after a swim in the lake. Fortunately, the electricity traveled through a pipe I was holding as I was washing sand off my feet. 

Everyone’s memories no matter how vivid or murky become compressed and are filtered through understanding and new experience. There is a continuous effort to reconcile what we are and what we are becoming: to find connections and to feel connected. Rare spurts of lucidity may, if we’re lucky, reveal relationships between all that is variant, salty, elegant, chaotic, terrifying, breathtaking, and fragile; moments of collision. These impressions and my endeavor to find these collisions contribute to numerous bodies of work.
My explorations have been divergent in terms of media but consistent in terms of focus. Being creative is an extension of inquiry about the world, a translation of what we perceive and through that a greater and deeper understanding. The more we become aware, the more the questions change, driving us to make these visions tangible.

One of the wonderful things about being an artist is that you can be an amateur anything, and you can relate those diversions to your work.  I am curious, interested in a lot of different things, from psychology and music to food and physics, and being an artist gives me entrance to explore the world and all my lines of inquiry while allowing the exploration itself to be the purpose.

I believe, the more personal work, the more universal it is.  Being creative is an extension of inquiry about the world, a translation of what we perceive, and through that, a greater deeper understanding.  The longer you live, the more you perceive, and your questions change. The preparation for any work of art is your entire lifetime. Eventually, you know a little bit more about yourself.  It is a beautiful and vicious cycle.


oil on panel, 16" x 16" 

Cloud Lick
oil on panel, 32" x 44"

 Storm Seethe
oil on panel, 32" x 44"

 Lachrymal Storm 
oil on panel, 32" x 44"


 Pink Eternal
oil on panel, 40" x 40"

 Red Storm
oil on panel, 32" x 44"

For a printed version, please click here.


RT Hack said…
Wow! Good stuff! Like Salvador Dali and Hieronymus Bosch tripping in a blender riding the “Good ship Lollipop “! I enjoyed the journey...nice work and great site for a taste of the unknown!
Jessica said…
Thrilled to be featured in this wonderful Journal! Thank you for the opportunity and insightful writing! Look forward to discovering future featured artists!!! ­čŹĚJess


  • "Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing - and keeping the unknown always beyond you." Georgia O'Keeffe