"Illuminations and Visions"
From the surrealist movement to 20th-century musicians and filmmakers, the imaginative works and dramatic life of storied
French poet Arthur Rimbaud have electrified legions of progressive, underground creatives. So, too, has Cleveland multimedia artist Jessie Herzfeld become enthralled by his fanciful poetry, inspiring her to craft a series of breathtaking artworks she's ready to share
with the world.
This February, Herzfeld unveils a unique celebration of Rimbaud's work with "Illuminations and Visions," her debut solo art exhibition. The show features a series of magical, one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by the influential proto-surrealist—particularly his revered collection of prose poetry, Illuminations. The Shaker Heights native showcases Rimbaud's poetry itself within her pieces while drawing upon its imagery and symbolism to painstakingly engineer ethereal, dreamlike worlds swelling with enchanting characters, otherworldly creatures and unusual landscapes.
"I want to treat Rimbaud's Illuminations with the sacredness and delicacy of an illuminated manuscript so that I can bring that sort of voluptuous visualization to the words," Herzfeld says. "It's important to me that the text itself is included as a visual element, though not the dominant focus."
Practicing a style as imaginative as the work she creates, Herzfeld incorporates oil paint, watercolor, charcoal, markers, colored pencils and photography in remarkably detailed collages bursting with life, color and symbolism.
"I'm a surrealist at heart," Herzfeld says. "I want to change realities by changing perceptions. And I'll do that by sharing poetry and pictures."
In addition to art influenced by Rimbaud, Herzfeld will also be sharing for the first time a piece inspired by Cherry, the best-selling debut novel by Army medic-turned-bank-robber and former Clevelander Nico Walker. Designed as a possible alternate book cover, the striking image captures one of the many shocking scenes in the story, this one involving troops' snuff films of mice.
More about the artist: www.JessieHerzfeld.com
Jessie Herzfeld is a Cleveland artist, writer and photographer inspired by music, nature, literature, poetry and Medieval art. Her work often explores dreams, desire and the fantastic through unique and detailed imagery. Her current project is a visual translation of Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations. She also has a pet portrait business, Modern Tail Studios (www.ModernTailStudios.com). Herzfeld is a 2003 graduate of Shaker Heights High School who earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in coordination with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and a Masters in Illustration from Camberwell College of Arts in London.
Exhibit runs from: February 7 - March 7, 2020
Gallery is open Wed - Sat, 1 - 6 PM
or by appointment 419.345.8980