What is so fascinating is how Jessica's work evolved over time. Consistent throughout, there is a central, penetrating and clear focus that emanates from Jessica herself. She began documenting fanship, based on her own devotion to the TV program, "The Partridge Family", and specifically, David Cassidy, who played Keith Partridge.
She wanted to explore all aspects of fame from the perspective of a fan, whom she saw as a tragic figure, because the fan has a concept of an idol, "who doesn't exist," and because the fan's devotion is "unrequited."
In 1995, she recorded all the outfits worn by the cast members of "The Partridge Family" and recreated them for an exhibition originally shown in Amsterdam. This show eventually came to a gallery in Chelsea.
Ironically, she was asked to interview David Cassidy and did so, ending up sharing her Partridge Family memorabilia with him, as well as a paper doll wooden figure she had made of him. Such a surrealistic experience served only to feed the engine of her fascination with celebrity, adding yet another level of perception.
As her work evolved, costume was always central as was interactive participation by viewers, who would put on costumes or participate in other ways. In a sense, Jessica was outside looking in, but also inside looking out, which gives her work authenticity, as she explored celebrity on many different levels: pop figures, Star Trek, famous artists, Woody Allen, the figures at Madam Tussaud's.
Perhaps, this reached an apotheosis, with her Imposter Series, which began in 2006. There is a playfulness, but also a deeper insight into famous characters, which she achieved through building sets, karoke, oil portraits, and photographs. The bottom line always involved impersonation. Since the celebrities themselves are constructs, so too are her constructs around them.
Her most compelling manifestation of this series was The Bald Series. Coming from her own experience of cancer and chemotherapy. Jessica did what all true artists do, she used her life experience for her art. This involved photographs of 6 famous bald men: Hitchcock, Telly Savalas (Kojak), Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, and Yul Brynner. Jessica, bald from her own chemotherapy, posed as each. Here the art is in the details of lighting, fabric, background, choice of costume, and the composure of the countenance she chose to project. What is most admirable about this, was Jessica's strength, both physical and mental, as she created each of these photographs in the short interstices between her 6 chemotherapy treatments.
I have only touched on the many imaginative pieces Jessica Voorsanger did over the last 21 years. It will be thrilling to see what she does next. Brava!