10 QUESTIONS WITH ARTIST JESS COCHRANE

Artist and ultimate cool girl Jess Cochrane is best known for her pink hued, female empowered, dichotomy filled, painted photographs (say that really fast!). The Fin Collection took a minute to see what more there was to this beautiful lady and what powered her works.

1.You take all your own photographs, is this something you studied previously and why do you find it the best base to work upon?

I do! I studied both digital and film photography at school and have always found such pleasure in taking pictures. It’s the best to pant over because i enjoy the way paint flows over the surface of a photograph. I love the way it can bot hide and reveal new elements of an image and how the paint can change the sentiment of a photograph.

2. Women and the central focus of your imagery, often in stated of undress. Do you think it is easier to show their sensuality this way? And why only women?

For me, it is not so much about purposefully showing a woman sensuality but more about expressing the honesty of the female form. I find when i’m shooting that if there is a sense of sensuality within the image it comes from that woman feeling empowered by the shoot. It’s nice to shoot with women and then hear how it made them feel beautiful and strong after. Or how it helped them to love something about themselves they’ve struggled to previously love. I think i choose to shoot mostly women for this reason. I think we are all still learning how to honestly and openly love ourselves and in a way this has become the movement behind the work.

3. Do you think every woman brings a different sort of life and character to your paintings?

1000000000000%. Every shoot has a different energy. A different story to tell. A different character and a different end result.

4. Does layering your imagery add to the meaning of your works? What is the message you are trying to convey?

The first ever time I put a paint brush to a photograph, It helped me break down this sort of demon I’d been carrying around for years about perfection and self consciousness. I’d spent a very long time being unnecessarily hard on myself and changing these images that were contributing to this negative head-space actually helped me to break down the problem and rebuild myself. The work conveys a very honest depiction of this constant internalized conflict I was facing and when I shared my work I found that many women connected with it for the same reasons.

5. Your colour palette is predominantly shades of pink, a stereotypical colour attached to females. Is this something you set out to do or simply a divine coincidence?

Fleshy and feminine tones are very much an intentional act within my works. I think we so often visualise the colour pink and associate it with sweet, non-confronting, non-invasive images. It’s an incredibly stereotypical colour. I like using the tone in a very messy and visceral form as it opposes the common correlations to the colour when applied like that over an image of a woman. 

6. What do you think are the best qualities of being female?

Our complexities.

7. If you could have a dinner party and invite only 5 prominent women in history, who would they be?

Frida Kahlo, Kate Moss, Maya Angelou, Vivienne Westwood, Marylin Monroe.

8. Do you feel powerful being a woman?

Absofuckinglutely.

9. Would you ever paint yourself?

I did this morning.

10. Do you have any advice for future female artists?

Consider whatever form of femininity you take an absolute gift and keep bloody going.

Shop Jess’s works from ‘La Puissance’ here

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