Fran Magazine, Los Angles- April 2004

A Nerveracking Menagerie
 Jessie Fisher’s “Bunny on Bull”
 by Dean Maresca



I get nervous whenever I visit zoos. I guess I worry that I’ll accidentally fall over the 10-foot tall fence and into the moat that separates me from the exhibits, anger the tigers, and next thing I’ll know my arms are chewed off. This is not a bad kind of nervous, though. I completely understand the physical impossibility of that danger. The irrational fear actually fuels an exhilarating rush. 

I was watching art the other day and a similar anxious wave surfaced. The Oulous Repair Shop art gallery (945 Chung King Rd., Chinatown, (213) 626-1984) was showing a Jessie Fisher painting, Bunny on Bull (46x54”, 2003), of an odd little bunny sitting on the back of an even odder-looking bull. I remember walking through the gallery and trying not to make eye contact with Ms Fisher’s painting. I looked at the floor, at the other paintings and at my friends, all the while stealing glances at Bunny on Bull as if it were an ex-girlfriend that I’d happened upon while she was on a date with Scott Baio. I was uneasy and my heart rate jumped up. The deformed elk-like creature in Ms Fisher’s painting was staring at me; no matter where I stood, I just couldn’t get away!

That bull was damn intriguing as it galloped through its Impressionistic field of flowers. A mouthful of bright red roses dripped from it’s maw like foam from a rabid dog. Its two sets of eyes–the front pair yellow and intense–glowered out at me. The figures are very realistically rendered, even though they don’t exist in any universal reality. The bull charged at me while I looked at it. It reminded me of the moment when a beautiful dream turns on the dreamer. I know that this painting couldn’t really attack me, but that edgy feeling I got while looking at it was invigorating. 

My sister hates zoos. Once she dangled her foot through the rhino fence, her shoe fell off and she cried. But I think even she would enjoy Bunny on Bull as long as she remembered to tie her shoes. I think I’ll try and take her to the Oulous Repair Shop in May, when Jessie Fisher will have a solo show there.

 Bunny on Bull 46x54”, 2003