Montana native Jessica Drenk (b. 1980) received her MFA in 3D Art from the University of Arizona. She is a recipient of the Artist Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Centre, among other awards. Her work is also in corporate and public collections including those of Fidelity Investments and the Yale University Art Gallery.
Drenk’s biomorphic sculptures push everyday materials such as gauze, toilet paper, cotton buds, pencils, and toothpicks to their point of organic saturation, where they begin to simulate organs, micro-cellular worlds, and geological stratifications. Yet Drenk is just as concerned with switching the direction of organic flows, such as when she converts slim cuttings of wood pine into a digital matrix of binary code. Other creations involve shaping books into fossilized records of geologic life, or using waxed book strips to create an extended cerebellum, thus relying on the brain’s cognitive faculty to ‘read’ and ‘interpret’ its own aesthetic disembodiment or lobotomy. Invested in interrogating organic/inorganic distinctions, Drenk states, “On a long enough time scale, there is no difference between manmade and nature.”
Astarte Rowe, curator