Jesse Harrod: Soffe Shred
Curated by Danny Orendorff
Spring Break Art Show 2019 (NYC, NY)
March 5 – 11, 2019
About the Exhibition
Jesse Harrod: Soffe Shred is an exhibition of new or recent drawings and sculptural works in rope, leather, and mixed-media by Philadelphia-based contemporary artist Jesse Harrod inspired by the intersections of social support, queer-trans community, and D.I.Y. punk. Having invented a fictitious glam-punk, gender-defying rock band called Vagina ToucHers, Harrod queerly riffs on the macho pageantry of classic rock’n’roll by producing drawings in the style of band posters that depict explicit scenes of pleasure, power, lust, gender fluidity and fantasy. Produced with a hyper-colorful palette of oil paint, colored pencil, markers, and more, Harrod’s drawings are made on paper and then affixed to free-standing luan-wood panels that double as architectural devices for creating greater, upfront intimacy with viewers.
Alongside her drawings will be installations of Harrod’s works in leather and rope, including large-scale, neon paracord macramé works suspended from the wall or ceiling and in-development sculptural wall-hangings produced from black leather and bright, friendship-bracelet plastic string. Toying with a butch-femme aesthetic, Harrod’s forms, colors, and images oscillate between the playful and erotic while turning on multi-sensory responses in viewers, including the tactile and the visual. Resisting a 70s-aesthetic while deploying their forms and materials, Harrod’s works are instead in-conversation with the kind of acidic and synthetic queer experimentation in music and performance that has transformed static notions of gender, sexuality and nightlife for good – as well as their radical cumulative potentials for new formations of self and community.
Jesse Harrod has an MFA in Fibers & Material Studies from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Currently Harrod is the Head of Fibers & Material Studies at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Harrods solo exhibitions include “Low Ropes Course” at NurtureArt in Brooklyn, “Toxic Shock and Hotdog” at Vox Populi in Philadelphia, and “Rope.” at Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul Art Center, Seoul Korea. Their work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States. These include “In Practice: Material Deviance” at the SculptureCenter in New York, the traveling exhibition “Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community,” and “Towards Textiles, Material Fix” at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI. Harrod has been awarded residencies at The MacDowell Artist Colony, The Fire Island Artist’s Residency, Open Studio Residency at Haystack Mountain School of Craft and The Museum of Art and Design, among others. Harrod’s work appears in two recently published edited collections: a book-length catalog to accompany the exhibition “Queer Threads” and an edited book published by Publication Studio: Hudson that situates their artistic practice within a larger historical and contemporary context, with contributions from Jenni Sorkin, Allyson Mitchell, Laurel Sparks, Anthony Romero and JD Samson.