Vampire Girl, Jessie Riches
A few months ago, I discovered the works of Jessie Riches while I was walking through the shopping centre in Geelong. Ok I know this is a pretty strange place to find an artwork, although I have recognised a painting by Jessie Riches in the front window of a book store. I’m not entirely sure whether Riches artwork was reproduced for display purposes, although I must admit the painting featured some extraordinary colours and designs.
The painting features the skull and cross-bones juxtaposed with a dark green background along with decorative patterns and designs. I would always walk past this particular book store and I always wondered who had actually created this painting / design, one day I decided to actually stop at the front window and I recognised Jessie Riches’s signature at the very bottom.
Unfortunately I have taken a photograph with my old phone and for some reason I never saved the actual image. Anyway, I decided to research Jessie Riches on the internet at home and I discovered that the skull was a popular image within the artist’s work. According to Riche’s website, the artist has worked with watercolour, acrylic, pencil, digital media and graphic design, Riches is also a tattoo artist and I have realised that these particular designs do provide a unique aesthetic.
In a way, Riches has merged her tattoo designs with her graphic / digital art, Riches’s “Vampire Girl” for instance, features a rather obscure character who is composed with two cartoonish skulls that are placed within the centre of the image. The remainder of the image features intricate patterns and designs that creates a strong contrast with the mysterious character; the juxtaposition between the rose, the skull and the tombstones may symbolise the border between life and death.
The illustration also reminds me of tattoo art especially the juxtaposition between the skull and the rose; these two particular designs do appear very popular within the tattoo industry; I must admit, most of the tattoos I have seen either feature a rose, a skull or a dragon. Riches work also features very strong, vibrant colours that emphasises the detail within the background, such as the graveyard and the tombstones.
In fact Vampire Girl does feature a high level of detail, each time I view this particular illustration, I always find something interesting or fascinating. There is an obvious connection between the vampire, the graveyards and the skulls, although I do not fully understand how the rat or the tarot / playing cards relate to the other elements within the image. Actually this is a good thing, if everything was obvious there would be nothing new to discover, the ambiguity invites me to take another closer look at Riche’s artwork.
The visual aesthetic, the subject matter and the meaning is surreal, even the vampire’s long pointy ears and her sharp teeth feature very surreal characteristics. Jessie Riches’s has produced some extraordinary work and some intriguing designs; I would recommend visiting the artist’s website for more information. If you would like to read the first half of the story, please click on the link below/