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Jessica Silversaga

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The dreamy ethereality of Jessica Silversaga’s work compliments her affection for fairy tales.

Despite their suffused light and idyllic innocence, her images have nothing in common with the ubiquitous Disney versions except the subject of beauty. But where the mass market films reify the notion that goodness always carry the day, Silversaga’s images employ the mechanism of the original materials—wherein the brutality of cruel, pricking thorns frame the delicate rose, rendering it all the more beautiful as a result of sinister intentions.

The brilliant white of tiles and tub, the few clinging strands of wet hair escaping thin braids at her neck and her averted face are replete with beauty.

But why is she turned away. I question whether she has a face– perhaps there is nothing but ragged skin lining the edges of a gaping black void.

Maybe such a response is a result of having seen too many horror movies. (Although I do not think I am entirely off base… she is after all turning left and as the eye enters the frame and passes left to right over it it becomes clear there is nothing she can be looking at. Interestingly, if this image were flipped and she was looking to her right, I think the singular thought would be she was merely turned away.)

It does not matter whether she has a face or not, what matters is her knowing what it is to hold chaos in one’s palm because like us all she too has a body.

By knowing this, we also know she is not another dime a dozen damsel waiting for deliverance from distress.

She is the thorn and the rose. As are we all.

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