Jesse Wine’s practice primarily focuses on traditional materials and construction methods. Clay in particular is a favoured medium, a substance to grapple with in its peculiar tactility. Wine’s work involves a careful balancing of retaining and relinquishing control. Potential is unleashed precisely when ‘an artist understands how to apply a method and purposefully do it wrong; they are in control of knowing they are doing it wrong, but not in control of the outcome, this way the work remains a surprise, even to the artist.’
A robust sense of humour is present in Wine’s irreverent titles, a ‘form of weird social commentary’ compromising works such as Swimmin’ Pool, K bye, Pubic, Generation LOL, Ryanair and You can’t get it in the UK. As they suggest, Wine is able to play the contemporary game; in fact, he plugs his objects into circuits of digital production and reproduction. This could be seen at his solo show at London’s Limoncello Gallery, 2012, which reproduced a Japanese Zen Garden. The entirety of the gallery floor was carpeted by raked gravel, ringed by a narrow walkway of salvaged wood and punctuated by several ceramic objects. Wine invests his art with a Zen-like sense of purpose, avowing that its role ‘conscious, growing and developing – is to be transcendent of the world around it (a big ask, but you gotta aim high).’
The artist’s ambivalence toward contemporary culture is further evident in another update, this time of the Picasso painting Les Pigeonnes Perches that the artist elaborated for his show at The Sunday Painter in London, 2011. This gesture deftly handles the mores and idiosyncrasies of consumer culture. Perhaps Wine’s dependence on the technology of modern life is at the root of this ambivalence. A series of works, IMG 2170, IMG 2171 and IMG 2172, is shot on a mobile phone from the vantage point of the crack between the seats on public transport. It features Wine’s fellow passengers scrolling through images on their iPhones. The crossover between entertainment and surveillance, from which the artist himself is not exempt, runs throughout his work.
Wine continues to experiment with tradition for Open Heart Surgery with a presentation of recent, previously unexhibited ceramic work. Conditions of display are again telling; here, a large plinth is set with display chambers housing individual works. The structure, which in its entirety resembles both modernist architecture and museological displays of cultural artefacts, questions distinctions between fine art and craft from within a thoroughly contemporary context.
Jesse Wine, (B. 1983, Chester, based in London) gained his BA Fine Art from Camberwell College of Art (2007), and his MA Fine Art at Royal College of Art (2010). Recent solo and two person shows include CO2, Rome; Tunisi, London; Hobbs McLaughlin with Jackson Sprague, London (all 2013); and Limoncello, London (2012). Wine has also participated in shows at SPACE, London; Queens, Leicester, UK; V22, London; PAMI 2013, London; 81, London; Cul-De-Sac, London (all 2013); NearEast, Istanbul; Studio Voltaire, London; Frutta, Rome; Hannah Barry Gallery, London; Peles Empire, London; and Banner-Repeater, London (all 2012).