A common link in much of Jay’s body of work is the homage to popular culture. She incorporates images from classic films and TV shows into full-size pieces tailored to the individual. Even the pieces that are meant to represent cartoon characters have a certain depth and dimension that one typically associates with realism.
There’s a sci-fi theme weaving in and out of the imagery, juxtaposed with the banners and leafy daggers of traditional tattooing, further drawing attention to Joree’s incredible dexterity and transition between content. Jay is an animator, working on a constantly mobile surface to immortalize characters and the narratives they are a part of.
The figures in Jay’s work are profoundly expressive in a human sort of way, though they are not always skin and bone. Her eyes, especially- hooded eyes, searching eyes, knowing eyes- convey the general spirit of the piece, and though the fleeting intensity of a glance is a tough thing to capture, she does just that. The manipulation of the color palette and subtle addition of gradient shadows to some of the tattoos highlight Joree’s geometric intuition and attention to the atmosphere she can set as an artist.
Jay also does ‘no- face’ pieces, an original approach to portraiture, which replace the face of the subject with a particular scene or snapshot, leaving the question of identity up to interpretation. Among the icons of American pop culture that permeate her work, I think Jay’s faceless gentlemen are perhaps the most arresting, and attest to her creative confidence.
As an artist, Jay Joree carries an essential awareness of the human psyche, which enables her to transfer imagination to skin in a way both polished and refreshingly odd. Even her roses are not the usual tattoo trimmings we are used to- they have a mission of their own. Jay Joree works out of Last Angels Tattoos in Dallas, Texas.