“Playing dirty” describes the imagery in Jean’s work. Her art references the structures, moves, history, and rules of games. How can sculptural objects suggest a disturbance of rules and a struggle with conventions and expectations? Setting aside the obvious pleasure of fun, how can PLAY express resistance?
In Jean’s artwork, the function of familiar portable objects like buttons, money, or dice is altered and rigged to help refocus our use of small, common materials to make big, consequential decisions. Buy that house — flip a coin. Marry that person — throw the dice. Jean often incorporates amulets and gestures that evoke our never-ending hope for fortune, even while we are all cheating, bluffing, or trying to fix the game.
Each piece combines well-worn souvenirs, coarse materials like steel hardware cloth, and carefully crafted surfaces like vitreous enamel on copper. To consciously challenge familiar assumptions about fine metalwork, Jean emphasizes unexpected juxtapositions within excessively repetitive forms, reimagines the handmade, and questions the obsolescence of the objects we have come to rely on for work and play.