Hey! I'm Jessica Clermont. I create art that explores identity by illustrating my process of uncovering the power and beauty of the skin that I am in. I want people who look like me to see themselves within the art that I create. As an African American woman living in America, I have witnessed my fair share of triumphs and downfalls. However, through my art, I can tell stories that are unique to my experience. I usually focus on illustrating the captivating beauty of African American men and women but, I recently decided to create artworks that generate a discussion about the significance of identity and being proud of who you are. Within these artworks, I use various forms of line work, color, texture, and mediums to indicate the power of black skin. I believe in sharing my story to connect with and empower others. With each art piece that I create, I hope to gain a greater understanding of who I am while helping others do the same.
The name "J.Monte" is a play off of my last name and a nickname a friend gave me. Somewhere down the line "Monte" became a daring, creative, and thoughtful persona that I would constantly channel throughout my art and life. As a result, "J.Monte" turned into a reminder to be myself and pour my soul into anything and everything that I do.
Meaning Behind the lines
I use linework as my style because it is the skeletal structure for most art. The lines, much like the truth, are not as malleable as soft tissue. They are rigid enough to stand their ground, yet they curve gently in some places in a demonstration of masculine strength yielding to feminine tenacity. Cultural narratives are easily and often altered to favor those at the top of the hierarchy. Yet, art is sometimes the dam that stops such a fluid movement of propaganda. I boldly place cultural identifiers of African and black people at the forefront of the audience’s thoughts. My lines weave within their perceptions of European beauty and force them to take a look at the majesty that is unyielding in African beauty.