Jess Valice (b.1996) is an LA native-born and raised, in the San Fernando Valley, she paints portraits and scenes from real life, but with a playful and modern-day take. Valice’s subject matter bounces between reality and one she has perceived. Each of her characters is an amalgamation of people she’s encountered on social media, books, and real-life, along with the feelings, notions, and conversations she projects on them. She smuggles small clues in the form of recognizable contemporary objects — Modelos, goon masks, an Adidas logo — that suggest a deeper narrative about her subjects. Every detail becomes significant in dissecting the personal universes that Valice creates around each character. And although the scenery may change between paintings, the emotionless gaze that emanates from these characters’ faces depicts a narrative of being alone, of chosen loneliness.