Jessica Zoob, Lily Pads & Tags
Ever wondered why much of the graffiti you see seems to be a name? An ordinary commuter train into London is the best way to see this: in the tunnels, on the sides of buildings, along the thick-set fences, and on other trains themselves, are often big, stylised letters making up some sort of edgy, gangster name that probably wasn't given by the parents.
These are tags, 'bombs', which in the circles of street culture are identifiable as someone literally making a name for themselves in the city. A lot of tags are done using widestyle graffiti that emerged from downtown New York in the 1970s and is incredibly hard to achieve (these big pieces of graffiti you see on your journey to work are actually rather skilful), making those who are good at elaborate designs widely known and respected in street art circles.
But one perhaps unlikely follower of street art is contemporary artist Jessica Zoob. The textured scrapings of Jessica's paintings echo with the sgraffito and the origins of graffiti, and the vibrant colours of Reckless visually remind us of street art's neon spray paints.
And just like the tags on the side of a train, it is Jessica’s lilies which have become her signature tag on the canvas, with works which feature lilies as some of Jessica’s most popular and sought after pieces.
Jessica's tag is the simple evocation of a lily made from just three or four confident brushstrokes, each stroke sweeping across the lily’s colours. Of course this is a Jessica Zoob, and so time reveals that even though their finish is simple, the lilies are in fact comprised of layer upon layer of intricate oil work.
There are many other markers of Jessica’s work which make her art distinctive and aesthetically beautiful – the scraping back of heavy oils, the crafting of pearlescent light on a canvas’ surface. But it is the lilies which are her signature, her instantly recognisable motif, her bomb.