Jackie Slanley Cuts Dreams from Plexi

February 7th, 2022

In Review is a recurring feature in the Pink Essay newsletter where we explore the work of a particular designer or artist, from their perspective.

Jackie Slanley is an artist based in Brooklyn. Her work reimagines mythological objects and symbols to explore the relationship between fiction, history, and experience. She's inspired by images that are enduring, meaning they have undergone a continuous process of recycling, rebirth, and mutation.

What do you make? I make a lot of things ranging from sculptures, paintings, and drawings. My favorite material at the moment is plexi glass.

What do you wish people knew about your work? My love for storytelling. My work takes characters and archetypes from ancient stories/mythology and I either use them directly, recreate them, or make something new. The love started when I was young and heard Buddhist stories from my grandma. Then I studied Greek mythology in middle school and I'm still fascinated.

The hardest part of making your work is
: Art is having the result live up to the idea.

The weirdest part of making your work is  Art is all of it... Wanting to create a beautiful object based on your experience and interests in a coded visual language and then spending your life decoding it for yourself and other people. It's beautiful and strange.

Average amount of time it takes you: It depends on the size and material. I've spent anywhere between a couple days on a drawing to a couple of months on an installation. I think 4 months is the longest to date.

Machine or handmade? Both. I love it when the two are intertwined and can work together in harmony. For a while I tried to fuse plexi and clay together and I am still experimenting with that.

Large or small? If I could I would go large but my studio prevents that. I do have a thing for the micro.

Natural or synthetic? Both! A lot of my work tries to fuse both the natural and the synthetic, taking a lot of cues from sci fi.

Soft or rough? Texture is extremely important. I like silk and gravel.

Who are you when you’re not making your work? I'm always making! My downfall is that I have one personality.

A favorite song to play when you’re in the zone: Little Dragon "Other Lover" remix with Moses Sumney is a favorite right now. I listen to a lot of electronica and contemporary/experimental R&B. I also started listening to The Marías and the song "Over the Moon" is so chill.︎

More of Jackie Slanley at @jackieslanley and

Pink Essay is a creative studio & platform re-designing design culture. We make experiences + exhibitions + archives, synthesizing the digital and physical.

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