December 9, 2009

Meet the ESPP Artist: Jerstin Crosby

Endangered Species Print Project guest artist Jerstin Crosby created our wonderful print of the Golden-crowned sifaka to support the Duke Lemur Center in his previous state of residence- North Carolina. Molly sat down with Jerstin over the interwebs to chat about art, animals, and ninjas. Molly's questions are in aqua below, Jerstin's responses in black.

First off I would just like to say thanks for contributing your drawing "The Foreigner" of a Golden-crowned Sifaka for ESPP.  Researching the Golden-crowned Sifaka for the info part of the ESPP site was eye opening for me. I did not realize how dire the circumstances are right now in Madagascar due to the political instabilty. Your choice of the GCS lemur brought this issue to ESPP's attention. Thanks.

While I worked over the interwebs with the Duke Lemur Center to get the latest info on the Golden-crowned sifaka  population you were at the center shaking hands and meeting lemurs. I'd like to hear more about the live lemur action.  
Basically, all of what I know about Lemurs comes from my visit to the Duke Lemur Center and subsequent follow-up research.  My favorites were in the nocturnal area, which houses some lemurs like the Aye Aye and Loris species which remind me of the token wide-eyed, super-cute and vulnerable characters from Pixar animations.  Also, I didn't realize how rare these animals are- even in captivity.  Most of the species they have at the DLC are only  living either there, or Madagascar.


Jerstin Crosby    
Spider Monkey Rescue
Graphite on Paper

 
Besides the Golden-crowned sifaka does any animal, plant, or mineral hold a special place in your heart?
I'm always amazed when I spot a wild creature, especially animals that I don't see very often like a fox, or coyote.  I saw an albino deer two years ago which was special, because I'm so de-sensitized to seeing deer where I grew up in the south. I really like to see swampy things, like alligators.  As a kid, I got to see them rather often in lakes or when I'd accidentally waterski past one on the Chatahoochee River.  Last night I was talking to a friend on his front porch and a deer ran past the house down the sidewalk, along the street.  I tried to get a photo but it was too dark.


Jerstin Crosby  
Community News and Events #1
Acrylic, gouache on linen 

Your work, including your recent solo show at Lump Gallery "If You Build It We Will Burn It", deals with animal liberation, or more accurately, the subcultures around animal rights/liberation. Tell us more about your work and what influences it.
My installations, videos, drawings, and other projects are presenting these ideas within a contemporary art context.  I think the strongest thing about "If You Build It....." was that it brought these ideas to a format where viewers could question the reasons behind them.  If I was a writer I would be writing about these people, and if I was a documentary filmmaker I would have made a film, but it happens that the way I am able to process this information is through visual forms.  That is why I titled the back room Lump installation "Visual Representation of Invisible Processes".  The installation served as a location where I could present the visual imformation I gathered through my research all in one mash-up.  The front room installation "La Jolla Crossroads" was a literal recreation of an action by the ELF that brought the viewer into the piece as a way of encaging them within the facts of that arson.  That entire show was influenced by modern art ideas of site-specificity, land-art, kinetic work, as well as advertising, news dissemination, extremism, and a genuine appeal for viewers to contemplate animal rights and environmental issues.



Jerstin Crosby
La Jolla Crossroads
Installation detail
So if you were a trained ninja assasin, would you post up in trees in the forests of Madgascar and take out bushmeat poachers one by one? I would, but I'm not very PC.
I would be more into building elaborate "Home Alone" style booby traps.

Ha ha!!! What upcoming projects are you working on?
Currently working towards an installation that will include a 3-channel video, and a billboard that will be up at Good Citizen Gallery in St. Louis at the beginning of 2010.


Jerstin Crosby is an interdisciplinary artist. Born in 1979 in southern Alabama, he currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.  For more information please visit www.elvesarewatching.com

To see Jerstin's print for ESPP or "Peep the Leem" as we like to say go here.

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