Human Shadow

Jessica Teckemeyer - Dubuque, Iowa

Artist's Statement

The Human Shadow is a representation of a new born whitetail deer juxtaposed with the shadow of a wolf. The head is visually distorted as if a slow motion blur has permanently morphed the physicality. This frozen action attempts to convey confusion. The fawn has human-like eyes and smooth skin, rather than fur, to clue the viewer to the introspective nature. Ernest Hemingway stated, "All things truly wicked start from innocence." The statement implicates the murky depths of our unconscious mind. Over the last three and a half years, my research has focused on the dark and light side of personality. I am interested in the conflicted complexity of human behavior. Human behavior is driven by both innate instinctual reactions and culturally learned responses. Each person naturally develops a shadow beginning in childhood composed of repressed personality traits.

Those traits were found to be unattractive by others and/or yourself. According to Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, great potential waits to be retrieved in the shadow.  Through translating a human experience into the form of an animal, we look at ourselves from another viewpoint. The deer is a timid animal with a plant-based diet, while wolves prey on deer and are aggressive creatures by comparison. These notions are reinforced to children in popular stories. In Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf is portrayed as cunning; in Bambi, the deer is bashful. Pairing the wolf shadow with a frail young deer in a cowering pose marries polar opposites. I am interested in the complexity of human behavior through our celebratory moments to disastrous events. In observing the extremes, both the dark and light of humanity are present. While the scale is small for public art, I see this as strength. First, aesthetic impact has more to do with the content of the sculpture for me, than monumental scale. Secondly, working against the “bigger is better” mentality, viewers will dominate over the frail deer. Providing power to the viewer to reflect on how he or she has matured. What spontaneities, enthusiasms, and/or unattractive parts have you tamed?

Human Shadow
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Artist's Bio
Jessica Teckemeyer maintains an active studio practice in Dubuque, IA where she is an Assistant Professor at Clarke University. Teckemeyer earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in May 2010. Her work has been exhibited in thirty-eight group exhibitions and featured in six solo shows. Viewers in many cities have experienced the work, including: Montevideo, Uruguay; New York, NY; Santa Ana, CA; Chicago, IL; Tallahassee, FL; Cincinnati, OH; Minneapolis, MN; and South Orange, NJ. Recently she has received Second Prize at the “27th Tallahassee International” hosted at the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, the Three Dimensional Award at the “36th Annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition” at the Augustana College Art Museum, and an Iowa Arts Council Grant. In the past five years, many cultural experiences have had lasting impact on Teckemeyer’s works. In November 2008, she traveled to Montevideo, Uruguay as a visiting artist where she gave a lecture and displayed an installation. She studied in New York City with University of Minnesota colleagues for three weeks in 2009. Later the same year, she also visited Venice, Florence, Pisa, and Rome. These cities' rich histories cause her to question: what connects all humans spanning time and place? Teckemeyer has fabricated sculptures for internationally known artist Siah Armajani since 2009. Prior to graduate school, she worked in the sculpting, mold making, and painting departments at "Tivoli Too" a 3D design and production studio located near Minneapolis, MN. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2004.

Sales price - $12,000