PREVIOUS | overview | NEXT

Interest in this subject had early roots, when as an 8th grader, Judy Jashinsky, living in rural Wisconsin, knew that the “duck and cover” drill under her desk, would not protect her from the Atomic Mushroom. After “9.11.01,” she returned to the subject. How was President Bush going to react nearly 40 years later?  Were we on the brink of World War III again? Now it is 50 years since that diplomatic square dance.
On October 16, 1962, President John Kennedy called his brother Robert, the Attorney General, to tell him that a U-2 airplane had photographed Russian missiles and atomic weapons in Cuba.  “That was the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis – a confrontation between the two giant atomic nations, the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R., which brought the world to the abyss of nuclear destruction and the end of mankind.”(*)  Cuba’s relationship with the Soviet Union was a new one, formed out of necessity by Fidel Castro, the Rebel leader of the small Caribbean island. He was reacting to the trade embargo initiated by the United States who bristled when Cuba would no longer be a playground for rich Americans at the expense of the
poor in Cuba.

"...Judy Jashinsky, however, lived through the period she chronicles in “13 Days + 13 Nights, 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis,” her show at Civilian Arts Projects. In fact, a painting of her as a Wisconsin high school freshman is included among the many portraits, which range from Castro, Krushchev and two Kennedys to Bob Dylan and Washington socialite Mary Pinchot Meyer, who was romantically linked to JFK and murdered mysteriously in Georgetown about a year after the American-Soviet showdown. The personal is political indeed.
A realist painter with classical technique, Jashinsky is known for thematic series that can overlap. Her missile crisis exhibition includes “Caribbean Storm,” a large 1992 painting that was originally part of a “Columbus and Isabella” sequence. But most of the pieces here are small and photo-derived, grouped in stylistically linked sets. The portraits that include the artist’s own are in oil on wood, with a lighter palette; pictures apparently modeled on newspaper halftones are in conte, gesso and acrylic and often blue-tinted.
The array also includes phases of the moon during the period, a clock stopped just short of midnight and a witty video collage that’s not for sale because it includes copyrighted material, such as clips from “The Jetsons.” Clearly, most of these pieces mean more in context than they would individually. But some of them might surface in a future show, as Jashinsky continues to extrapolate on historical themes both skillfully and evocatively."

Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, November 22, 2012