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Darkly Iconographic: Art by Jeannie Polisuk

A painting of a rabbit-like figure smoking a cigaretteFriends Don't Let Friends Do Stupid Things Alone, acrylic on canvas

Jeannie Polisuk combines cute, fuzzy figures with an eye for darkly iconographic composition. The artist’s works – in installation, painting, and sculpture – are at once inviting and uneasy, demanding a conscious effort from viewers to unpack them.

A painting of three figures that appear as stuffed animalsParty Animals, acrylic on canvas


In our previous feature of the artist’s work, we looked at the ways Jeannie uses motifs of childhood to evoke a multi-layered response in her viewers. Her current body of work seems often to centre on a anthropomorphized rabbit figure, one that looks very much like a child’s stuffed animal come to life, and engaged in a variety of less-childlike acts including drinking and smoking.


A scree capture of the front page of Jeanie Polisuk's art websiteThe front page of Jeannie's portfolio website


Symbolism appears prominently throughout Jeannie’s portfolio, whether it’s the use of certain objects and figures in paintings, or in installations like Figures of Speech, where a series of small, square paintings are arranged into a crucifix shape. In combination with her childlike figures, Jeannie’s symbolism creates an overall exploration of hazy, distant, perhaps painful or repressed memory.

A series of small paintings arranged on a crossFigures of Speech, series of 12 10" x 10" framed acrylic paintings

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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