Formerly inspired by the form and function of a sea urchin, artist Jennifer Maestre creates cumbersome organic forms using pencils and pencil shavings that bloom like fantastic flowers. Some of her freshest pieces seem to have grown tentacles and rest atop pedestals. The artworks are intended to simultaneously draw the viewer but also offer a particular aesthetic defense. She explains in her artist statement:
The spines of the urchin, so deadly yet elegant, serve as a clear warning against contact. The alluring surface of the spines draws the touch in spite of the potential consequences. The tension revealed we feel the push and pull desire and repulsion. The parts of pencils present features of sharp and smooth for two very distinctive textural and beautiful experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials.
Some pieces by Maestre were lately on view as part of an exhibition titled “Waste to Art” in Baku, Azerbaijan.