Formerly known as Jessica Ward, Jessica Perner is an American artist who works primarily in graphite to create powerful drawings that possess a strong sociological voice. In Agana, Guam on May 14th 1982 Jessica Diane (Hewer) Perner was born. Growing up she traveled and lived in many places around the world because her father was an Officer in the USAF. She attended Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan and received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art - Drawing with a minor in Illustration. She continued to study at Kendall for a Master's in Fine Art - Drawing until moving to Los Angeles, California instead to break into the art world. There she had her first gallery show in 2008, and has been exhibiting her work in galleries internationally since. Ward’s art work is inspired by eating disorders, which she herself has struggled with with since adolescence. Her work focuses mainly on the female form and portrays women often wrapped in and bound by hordes of the female crowning glory, hair. These magical sorrowful tales are encrypted with messages about human sexuality, compulsion, weight obsession and conventional standards of beauty. Her style is reminiscent of vintage sewing pattern packages and nostalgic fashion illustration as it relates to her ability to beautifully capture the female form and face. Working exclusively in the drawing medium, she uses graphite, color pencils and chalk pastels on paper. It comes as no surprise that Perner's work is collected by artists and celebrities alike, because of her amazing skill in juxtaposing images of beauty and horror all at once. Ward currently resides in Marz, Austria and enjoys playing video games in her spare time.
~ Lana Gentry