Jackie Rines is a working artist based out of Detroit’s Northend neighborhood that’s been preparing to install a large series of sculptures at Northend Studios. Critical Moment’s Michael Sabbagh sat down with Jackie to chat about her work, the themes she’s exploring, Detroit’s artist scene and what it’s like being a working artist in the city of Detroit.
Critical Moment: Let’s talk about what you’re working on, this big upcoming show.
Jackie Rines: Right now I’m working on a really large scale installation, ten sets of legs that come from different archetypes of women in my mind. They’re huge in scale, each are eight feet tall and all suspended from the ceiling and morph in shapes that go from a chicken drumstick to an antique doll. They’re suspended by things that could either be interpreted as garter belts or marionette strings. From the point where they’re suspended they have huge skirts that range in size from ten to 20 feet wide and tent the whole gallery. It has a real feminist bend. I’m trying to recreate that feeling of playing hide and go seek and being in your mother’s closet. The intense sense of privacy, quiet and potential while being surrounded by public things. But, exciting and a bit naughty.
CM: Does this installation follow a thread in your work?
JR: This is a revisit to an older piece. There’s an element of sexuality that runs through my work, questioning bigger issues. It’s about challenging feelings and addressing them through humor in a way to be accessible and explored without such a feeling of sadness. A recognition of what can make you think and be a joyous experience.
CM: What you see for yourself in the broader perspective?
JR: Detroit has a lot of opportunity to make public renegade works and that’s something that I’m interested in doing. The architecture here feels very exposed and I’m interested in bringing more architectural elements into my work because I see it so much here. I see it in all these varying stages. New, like the Motor City Casino or older buildings. Some of them are let go a bit, and as an artist I can see how they’re made or their specific elements. I don’t take everything as a finished product as I would in a really maintained city.
CM: As a working artist in New York and then coming back here to Detroit, what were some of the differences you experienced?
JR: I’d say the biggest difference is the square footage I have in my own studio. The square footage I have access to showing in is a dream and it’s really accelerated some of my personal development, which I am so excited about! It’s a gift. In this smallness, how often I can interact with artists that are very busy in their studio, going through the same process I am, making and thinking and making again and having that really be their priority. I know that artists like that exist everywhere but it was really cool to move here and fall into it pretty quickly. Also the DIY spaces here are awesome because it’s not just the more exclusive market driven gallery scenes or maybe the ‘cool kids’ that have their DIY spaces. There are a lot of artists here that are making their own space, opening it up and they’ll say ‘write a show proposal and let’s do this.’ I think that’s the way it should be done.
CM: I’d say I’ve seen that DIY mentality across the board here, in just about everything, even with people that have moved here. It seems like it’s something that’s part of our culture…
JR: It is part of the culture! And I think that’s really exciting. You get a lot of doers and really engaged people.
CM: If you were to say anything to someone in art school regarding what they have to look forward to or if they should stay in Detroit when they’re done, what would that be?
JR: I personally think it’s really great to move to maybe one of these major art cities like Los Angeles, New York or even Miami, because of the amount of art that comes through those towns and the difference in conversation. Then there’s the flip side of it where if you want to work work work, there’s no better place to be a young working artist. It’s so attainable and I think that’s the crux, you’ve just got to keep working.
Jackie’s upcoming show called “LEGGZ” opens at Northend Studios on June 21st at 6pm and runs through July 5th. To see work from previous shows and installations, visit http://www.jackierinestone.com or follow her on Twitter – @JackieRines.