Toronto performance artist Jessica Gorlicky, who goes by JessGo, spends as much of her time creating visual art on the road in front of audiences as she does in the studio.
But even though only half her time working as an artist is in the studio, when she is there, she requires space and lots of it, as she creates large-scale paintings.
“Large is really inspiring. It’s just my comfort zone,” she said. “If you’re making an eight or nine foot painting, you can’t do it in a small room. I tried. It doesn’t work.”
Luckily for the Lawrence Avenue and Avenue Road area resident, she has found the perfect space in York’s Fairbank community, home to Toronto’s design district.
“I fell in love with this 2,500 sq. ft. warehouse that was completely raw to begin with,” she said, adding creating the art space inside the warehouse was an art project in itself.
“It was a labour of love and I’m really enjoying the space now… We have 30-foot wide windows. It’s like a New York loft and it’s a dream space for an artist.”
Gorlicky is hosting an open house at her new studio. There’s an invite-only event for 250 guests on Friday, May 13, and a public event Saturday, May 14, with the doors open to everyone. During the event, she’ll demonstrate her ability to turn painting into a spectacle.
“I feel like you’ll have a completely different experience from any artistic one you’ve had in Toronto. The space, the energy, the artwork, it’s yours to discover,” she said. “I have a vision of what an event should be like. I feel like you should walk into a whole other world.”
She’ll create a painting at her open house that will later be available for purchase.
Gorlicky is certainly at ease when eyes are on her. She performs at public and private events, at corporate functions and for charities, doing approximately 100 performances a year. In 2012, she was signed to 77 shows with Cirque du Soleil. Her work has been commissioned by Google, Holt Renfrew, Sephora, the Olympics, Nordstrom Canada, and her art hangs around the world.
Her work can get quite large too, such as the 63-foot mural she painted for the Nordstrom store in Ottawa last year.
“Jobs like that make my whole world. That’s the most amazing thing that can happen,” she said.
Gorlicky intends to spend everyday at her new studio; however, admission is by appointment as she’s constantly on the road and gallery hours may be irregular.
The studio is at 660 Caledonia Rd., just south of Castlefield Avenue
Saturday’s open house runs from noon to 5 p.m., with the live painting happening around 1 p.m.
For more information on the artist, visit www.jessgo.com