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Artist Jessie Mott Explores Gender Using Hybrid Beasts

A Wish to Repair was inspired by Japanese erotica and the fluidity of gender, the Chicago artist says.

Art by Jessie Mott
Photo: Courtesy of the artist
Jessie Mott

When Jessie Mott sits down to draw, she does so without any plan of action. She simply puts ink to paper and lets her characters emerge organically.

“It has a lot to do with my feelings of the day, my mood,” says the Andersonville resident, 36, who debuts dozens of her haunting pieces at the Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S. Cornell Ave.) in A Wish to Repair, open through April 23. “The drawings always have an underlying psychological element.”

Her new works, inspired by Japanese erotica, feature strange hybrids, such as a catlike creature (above left) with breasts that Mott describes as “sexy lumps.” She uses the images to explore the notion of gender.

“We live in a culture of embracing gender fluidity,” says Mott. “We express ourselves however we want to.”

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