A self portrait by Jessie Kotler.
Jessie Kotler’s public installation ‘Primary Work’ is on view at The Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn until the 12th of September. The installation presents a series of her color photography displayed on a screen in the gallery’s window, flickering images every night between 8-11pm, seven days a week. Kotler’s work uses a vibrant pallette of vivid colors to show us the things most people turn away from. In honor of the exhibition, I decided to print her artist statement:
I take photographs to become intimate with all beings. I search for myself in my subjects. My photos are spontaneous. I never tell my subjects what to do or how to pose. Sometimes the subjects are aware of the camera and sometimes they are unaware. Regardless of how the photo is taken, what I look for is always the same.
I am interested in vulnerability and mortality. I like to look at things that many choose to look away from such as death. I spent the last year working at a hospice sitting with people while they were dying. Seeing death up close makes me feel more alive.
I am drawn to sadness, discomfort and unpleasant things such as a dog run over by a car or an old lady wearing too much makeup. I like what is dark and strange. For me, that is a raw piece of meat or a girl with an eye infection. I want to see the whole story. I don’t want to look away from anything. I try to see what is real.
Soapbox Gallery is dedicated to providing a forum for visual artists to engage in the issues of our time and express themselves publicly without censorship. The Gallery is located at 636 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY 11238 between Carlton and Vanderbilt. It is in the heart of Prospect Heights and a few blocks away from the Barclays Center.