Jessica Rice was born in Antwerp, Belgium, for centuries the traditional center of Flemish Masters. Jessica’s first oils were painted in Central Africa, where as a young girl she was inspired by the angularity perceived in African art, and by her father’s photographs. Her raw talent blossomed in the tropical surroundings. Unfettered by formal training, her images leaned towards cubist-nativism. Leaving Africa in 1959 for San Francisco, Jessica had already known early success when she sold her work to collectors during an exhibition in Bukavu, Kivu, Africa.
In 1963 Rice graduated from the San Francisco Academy of Art and was also awarded the Flax Memorial Award. She pursued a career in commercial art in San Francisco and New York, while continuing painting in oils for her personal satisfaction. By the early 1970’s she decided to forgo a thriving commercial career and to dedicate herself to her painting.
After moving to Los Angeles in the early 1970’s, Jessica dedicated herself entirely to painting. The diverse style of early 20th century avant-garde movement, the primitive and lush primary colors reminiscent of her childhood with strong distinctive brush strokes and palette knife, she creates imaginative memories steeped in the traditions of three continents. Her solid figures of heroic dimensions are wrapped in a pervasive nostalgia. Native Flemish landscapes, family gatherings, crowded restaurants, craftsmen and domestic scenes reveal a romanticized version of social realism.
Other samples of her work portray a celebratory fragmented play of lines and shapes of muted or bright colors, achieving multiple perspectives which generate a powerful kinetic effect.
Working part of the year in her studio in Mexico, Jessica’s canvases reveal fauve-cubist subjects which upon her return to Los Angeles draw the admiration of collectors world-wide.