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#29 – Jessica Brilli

Matt speaks with East Coast-based artist Jessica Brilli. Jessica shares her journey as a painter, detailing her transition from a graphic design career to wholeheartedly embracing her passion for art. She discusses her unique approach to drawing inspiration from vintage photographic film, sifting through countless images to find the perfect one. She also opens up about the grant she received, which paved the way for her to become a full-time artist, establish an external studio, and invest in her artistic pursuits. Despite the challenges, Jessica underscores the significance of perseverance and hard work in achieving success as an artist. Listen to the full episode now.

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Jessica Brilli

Jessica Brilli is an accomplished artist known for her evocative paintings inspired by vintage Kodachrome slides and photographs from the 1960s and 1970s. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Jessica's passion for art began at a young age, and she pursued her artistic education, earning a BFA in painting from the University of Rhode Island and a certificate in graphic design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Her unique artistic style lies between photorealism and screen printing, characterized by planes of vibrant colors and striking compositions. Drawing from her own childhood memories of suburban life in the 1950s and 1960s, Jessica's paintings often feature swimming pools with diving boards, 1960s architecture, and vintage cars. These nostalgic scenes reflect her personal connection to the past and evoke emotions and memories shared by many Americans. Jessica's work has gained recognition and admiration, with her paintings being showcased in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and even in South Korea, where her art graced the cover of Heren Magazine during its 10th-anniversary exhibition. Notably, her painting "Night Swimming" was selected for the cover of Rumaan Alam's best-selling novel "Leave the World Behind," which later caught the attention of Netflix for a potential movie adaptation. As a full-time painter, Jessica's recent body of work delves into the exploration of vintage photographs and slides that resonate with her emotionally. She sees these images as a collaborative effort, breathing new life into forgotten snapshots and connecting viewers with shared memories and experiences. Her passion for vintage aesthetics is also evident in her personal life, reflected in her home's mix of mid-century modern and antique decor. In her artistic journey, Jessica has been influenced by other renowned artists like Edward Hopper, Wayne Thiebaud, Alex Katz, and Georgia O'Keeffe, as well as her background in graphic design, which has honed her composition skills and love for expanses of color. Throughout her career, Jessica Brilli has experienced both personal and professional milestones, with recognition from art blogs, solo exhibitions, and receiving a prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. Her journey as an artist has led her to embrace her true passion, finding joy and fulfillment in creating art that resonates with her and connects with a wide audience.

Matt Gondek


Matt Gondek is a Deconstructive Pop Artist, whose work is possessed with a punk rock spirit, celebrating rebellion and destruction. With a visceral pop color palette and a disarmingly playful tone, he tears down cartoon idols, akin to slaughtering our modern day gods. Born in 1982, his creative voice is rooted in the 90s; as a true conduit of his generation and their potentially pointless search for meaning and purpose amidst a cruel life in a flawed world. He boasts sold out exhibitions in his home of Los Angeles as well as New York, Paris, Bangkok, and Hong Kong.


  • Missing Person - November 2022 - Tokyo
  • Discipline - February 2022 - Mexico City
  • RATS - August 2021 - Los Angeles
  • Original Character - April 2021 - New York
  • Mood Swings - October 2020 - Paris
  • CONTROL - November 2019 - Los Angeles
  • Clean Break - April 2019 - Bangkok
  • Growing Pains - November 2018 - Hong Kong
  • Clean Break - May 2018 - New York
  • American Gods - November 2017 - Hong Kong
  • Glow in the Dark - September 2017 - Los Angeles
  • Unholy Hand - November 2015 - Detroit
  • Struggles - April 2015 - Pittsburgh
  • Kill 'Em All - September 2014 - Pittsburgh

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