Words by Moni Briones
Viewing New Mexico based artist Jennifer Vasher’s works is an enthralling experience. Poignant sculptural pieces and weighty installations make up the body of Vasher’s latest collection. “To Another Good Year”, a somewhat Betty Crocker take on drug addiction, easily reflects country club pill poppers and prideful addicts at their best. “Ditropan and Friends” is almost too colorful to take seriously, but it’s whispers of untold solitude are sincere. “The Tylenol Room,” an installation spanning several feet of space and composed of over 550,000 aspirin, is akin to a church, a place of confessional grace.
You never know someone’s intent or inspiration until you ask. Thankfully I was able to learn one Saturday afternoon.
WC: If you could sum up “The Tylenol Room” in one word, what would it be?
WC: Was there a life occurrence that impacted this latest body of work?
JV: Yes, and personal loss in general.
WC: In recent reviews, religious undertones were used to describe the Tylenol Room. Do you agree with this perspective? Does this piece of work truly reflect a personal religious struggle or is it simply a reflection of societies need for “reflection”?
JV: I consider myself a pocket theosophist, but there is no personal religious struggle going on. Stringing the hundreds of thousands of pills, there was a meditative quality reflective of praying the rosary. Does this piece reflect a loss or gaining of faith in a particular religion or religious belief, no, but it deals with desperation and hope, which religion deals with. Does this piece reflect societies need to reflect? I don’t like to educate or scold in my criticisms. I prefer to put issues out there for reflection.
WC: Why Albuquerque? Don’t big lights and big city dazzle you?
JV: Are you kidding?! I love New York! The quality of life and cost of living here affords me the chance to have a beautiful studio and precious time. There is this openness in minds out here that seems to reflect the big expansive sky; a laid-backness that I feel comfortable in.
WC: What’s next?
JV: I’m finishing up this body of really fun pharmaceutical flower clusters and vines; flower power meets McCarthyism.
I’m also working on a large installation by collecting and constructing with pharmaceuticals; over the counter bottles, and other lotion and potion containers. The things that keep us healthy, wealthy, and wise—or at least pretty.
A few others are in the works. I’m fertile with ideas; always editing through them.
WC: Favorite Artist?
JV: Wow, immediately I could say my favorite authors but visual artists, there are so many.
I just adore Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse. The only piece that I ever cried in front of is Odeon Redon. Maybe I’m empathetic to Cyclops.
To see more of Jennifer’s work, click here.