Fascinated by the mass‐production and fetishism of hyper‐sexualized Japanese figurines, Jessica Lichtenstein juxtaposes mass‐produced anime dolls and comic book characters in ironic situations in order to imbue them with new associations and richer meanings. Lichtenstein challenges her audience to engage with and question the function of these images from a Western perspective; to weigh how much of the images’ sexuality is ascribed by the spectator.
Originally lifeless figurines packaged alongside hundreds of identical toys, Lichtenstein’s dolls emerge from their boxes and are placed in real-world situations by the artist, from cooking, to shopping, to getting ready for a night out on the town. Each figurine is given stereotypical Western accoutrements like bottles of champagne, designer shoes and bags, and shelves of nail polish. However, with her latest work, Lichtenstein has moved a step further to create imagined landscapes, and expanded her media to include graphic design, 3D text sculptures, light boxes and fabric. The artist strives for the presentation of her work to echo her ideas – art should ultimately entertain. Lichtenstein reveals her playful nature with complex pieces that divulge their depth only with a closer look – a cherry tree image on a light box is actually a composite of X-rated sirens.
In her pieces you can see both feminism and fetishism but ultimately Lichtenstein’s main concern is that the viewer enjoys the journey. The viewer is asked to re‐examine the nature of enticement ‐ are the accompanying phrases and speech bubbles amatory or garish? Each vignette in Lichtenstein’s installations is a slate upon which the viewer may consider his or her own notions of sexuality.
Following her last exhibition at gallery nine5, Lichtenstein received much attention from international press. The artist’s work is already in some of the homes of the most important pop‐art collectors, and held in private collections in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, New York, Palm Beach, Beverly Hills, Nice, London, Paris and Madrid. Most recently, Lichtenstein participated in and sold out her work at the SCOPE New York Art Show.