Press

"Pezalla's sculptures have a curious, neritic elegance, like souvenirs from a Jules Verne expedition or a particularly fruitful day of beachcombing. But Pezalla's structures swarm and cast shadows, and the humble materials from which they are constructed lend a roughness suggesting an origin darker than the sea: Driftings resemble coral or driftwood, but may very well be bits of bone."
- Isaac Amala, SF Flavorpill

"Jessica Pezalla's delicate driftwood and wire sculptures are reminiscent of sea creature fossils. Wavelet is a lovely sculpture of wire circles that recalls seafoam bubbles, as it creeps down the wall projecting shadows "like little drawings," according to the artist. The chunky driftwood Pezalla uses in several works is juxtaposed with the feminine curves of coated wire, the contrasting materials unified by a white clay epoxy coating. Most impressive is a large-scale curtain constructed of iridescent wallpaper scraps pieced together and dyed blue. Rare Earth Elements, a silver-leafed driftwood sculpture, is sensitively displayed in a plexi-glass case on a pedestal. Except in several instances, Pezalla avoided pedestals, installing most of the pieces on the floor, and thereby adding to the delicacy of her work."
-Kristin Farr, Artbusiness.com


"Building what she describes as "waterless human-scale aquariums," Pezalla uses obviously artificial materials to create a parallel universe, resembling but not imitating natural ecosystems. Filled with repeating open organic forms, the "sea life" presented has clearly emerged as much from imagination as from observation. Some of the pieces walk across the floor, others are attached to the walls, others hang down into the space."
-Debra Koppman, Artweek


"The main tilt of Jessica Pezalla's work is what she calls "fake nature," or using paper, felt, wire, epoxy, and string to create pseudo-natural forms. The delicate sculptures play very nicely with their own shadows, seeming to be completed by their projected other; their seemingly simple patterns are thus given complexity and depth. These beautifully simplified forms recall a pervasive fascination with the cabinet of natural curiosities, with their allusions to mysterious formations of the deep sea. In their artifice, however, one is reminded how, despite the easy accessibility to museums afforded by contemporary transportation, most people view such natural forms through images - in books and online - rather than observing the actual objects. Today there remains a disconnect between the natural and social worlds, especially in urban centers; in Pezalla's work we are reminded of our everyday attraction to yet distance from natural forms."
-Tonya Warner, Percolator Magazine


Video of the show at Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art by Matt Petty: San Francisco Chronicle Culture Blog