Jessica Straus, Blimp, 2016. Wood, collage, and found objects, 13 x 37 x 13 in.

Jessica Straus


Boston Sculptors Gallery

From afar, Jessica Straus’s carefully constructed and colorful forms appear quirky and playful. A closer look at the circus colors, however, reveals a less happy message. These pieces are a polemic about the world’s next crisis—the lack of drinkable water. Oversize oil cans and water carriers are covered with strips sliced from red-and-yellow “Danger” signs. We can piece the letters together to read “Caution,” “Non beber,” “Non potable,” and “Do not drink.” Meticulous, time-consuming craftsmanship has been a hallmark of Straus’s work throughout her career. In the past, it has involved carving wood into hand-crafted multiples, arranged in unexpected ways and usually combined with unlikely, hard-to-identify flea market objects. Here, the same attention to detail has gone into cutting and reconstructing printed material, maps, and warning tape. Straus did herself a disservice with the cheeky title of the show; “Uh Oh!” reveals nothing helpful…see the entire review in the print version of October’s Sculpture magazine.