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Jacky Kelsey/ Queer Art

Jacky Kelsey is a Chicago-based artist with a focus in soft sculpture and a background in drawing and puppetry. Originally from Wyoming, they moved to Illinois in 2014 to earn their BFA at SAIC. Upon graduation, they worked as a seamstress and upholsterer. They now continue making sculptural work that deals with themes of body, clothing, and queer identity. "My kinetic soft sculptures are a rumination on discomfort, connection, and queer identity. The colorful figures are weighted to give them a lifelike slump, and are patterned through a mishmash of techniques borrowed from puppet-making, upholstery, tailoring, and tracings from my own body. I see queerness in my sculptures because they feel strange like me. Soft materials rarely behave. Like any garment or label, a sewist’s pattern is an imperfect mirror. It neither fits everyone nor conforms perfectly to the wearer. So, the figures are continually adjusted in search of their most comfortable shape. Through this tedious process a disobedient body is made: a tangle of limbs that claim a presence of their own."


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