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Jessie Makinson


Jessie Makinson — Born 1985, London, UK. Lives and works in London, UK. Represented by Lyles & King, New York.


Jessie Makinson’s paintings are funhouse mirrors of historical and literary references, reflecting these allusions askew. There are 18th century brothel scenes and Georgian parlour games, ancient folklores and contemporary eco sci-fi. The titles of her works come from similarly diverse and diffuse sources; overheard snippets of conversation, quotes from cooking shows and 60s novels, anywhere really, and often taken out of context. Figures twist, bend, sit and splay at uncanny angles across unstable grounds. Their cool stares suffused with puckish ambiguity, simmering schemes, latent desires.  


Repleted with extended metaphors and veiled meanings, Makinson’s depictions of figures in luscious landscapes or richly furnished interior settings are intentionally ambiguous — they are at once playful, mischievous, suggestive and threatening. Her anthropomorphic figures are capricious, uncompromising, and insolent. They stare straight back at us or ignore us entirely as they stalk their habitat. At the centre of Makinson’s artistic output is drawing which she uses as a vehicle to free her imagination and make thought physical. A form of automatic drawing underpins all of her compositions from which she then teases out the armature of a painting. Her painting emerge’s intuitively and in the moment, with Makinson constantly referring back to a library of drawings and other reference material. As the picture develops, so does the narrative; its references and atmosphere growing as she works.


Makinson received her BA in Drawing and Painting from the Edinburgh College of Art in 2007, completed The Drawing Year Postgraduate Program at The Royal Drawing School in 2013, and graduated from Turps Banana Studio Program in 2016. 


Bad Girls 2021 - Featured Work

Jessie Makinson - Inch Of Giggle, 2021.jpeg


Inch of Giggle, 2021

oil and pigment on canvas

50 x 30 cm - 19.8 x 11.8 inches


Courtesy of the Artist and Ghebaly Gallery.

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