Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection

Jennifer Pastor. Stills from "The Perfect Ride" Animation. (2003)

Pencil on thirty pieces of notebook paper, Each: 13 1/4 x 16 3/4" (33.7 x 42.5 cm). The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift. © 2022 Jennifer Pastor

Artist, Jennifer Pastor: I’m Jennifer Pastor and I made these drawings which are key frames from an animation called The Perfect Ride. They’re all drawn with a mechanical pencil and you would read them from left to right in that block.

I came across this really beautiful live sports event on TV. It was a live rodeo and I just was really stunned by the action of all the bodies in the arenas and it gave to me this sense of sculptural potential that seemed related to the things that I was sort of struggling with in the studio. This was really like an epiphany that the body of the bull was actually not an object but a movement, and so I set out to make an animation in the dopiest way with no knowledge of how to do that or if what I wanted to do was even really possible

I basically started to go to rodeos and to videotape bull rides and I looked at tons of hours of footage of champion bulls and kind of historic rides. But I sort of fell in love with the body of this one bull, Bodacious, who had this tremendous 2,000 pound frame and he had the ability to move in this kind of reptilian motion and his jowls and flesh seemed so sort of counter intuitive and nearly impossible to sort of reconcile with his skeleton.

So I used all this footage as a sort of baseline for motion study drawings. And what I did was I interpreted through drawing, the capabilities of many different champion bulls but I situated them all into the single body of Bodacious through drawing.

I liked the idea that a drawing could hold all of the essential information, that you didn’t need any kind of special effects or color or other kind of detailing. I really was trying to whittle down the descriptive information that was necessary to make this body and this ride occur in front of you.

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