Sculpting the Subconscious

Festival of Arts exhibitor Jayne Reich tries to imbue her sculptures with a model’s true essence.
Festival of Arts exhibitor Jayne Reich tries to imbue her sculptures with a model’s true essence.

“I don’t imitate life. I like to co-create life.”

Within moments of speaking with local artist Jayne Reich, it is also clear she has experienced a full life. With vibrant articulation, she speaks knowledgably of art, quantum physics and human consciousness all the while casually name-dropping people who have crossed her path, actor Morgan Freeman and Princess Beatrice of Italy among them.

Born in Newhaven, Conn., she attended at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where she honed her emphasis and interest in figure studies. Spending most of her adult life in New York, she was the assistant and protégé of Marshal Glasier for more than 25 years, who himself was the protégé of German expressionist painter, George Grosz.

Today, Reich’s handmade figures are displayed at the Dan Miller jewelry gallery in Laguna Beach and the Festival of Arts, where she is a first year exhibitor. Her figures with winding and interlaced limbs convey emotion even before a viewer gazes on their soulful faces.

“Within each figure is a point of equilibrium that is profound and absolute. The individual’s personal-universal consciousness is present. We feel the heartbeat of a soul in each of her figures,” art critic Milton Ward said of Reich’s sculptures at her gallery show at Rizzoli’s in Manhattan in the late ‘90s.

The captivating works express movement in various forms. For Reich, both the steadfastness of architecture and the fluidity of nature contribute to the form of her work.

“It is architectonic yet as sensual and organic as amorphic shapes that you see in nature,” says Reich. “My pieces are still, but they move in 360 degrees so it’s a different experience from every single angle. It draws your eye completely around the figure like architecture.”

Just as architecture and nature are foundational in her work, a quantum physics theory weaves its way into her sculptures as well.

“In each instant of time, there’s a whole new universe and everything is different in every single moment. I’m working with these philosophies and principles and trying to create that way,” says Reich.

The artist utilizes this idea of “newness” in her artistic process by allowing the piece to guide her, rather than the other way around.

“In each piece that I do, I never know how it’s going to turn out. My style just evolves naturally through participation, through observing. I let the model’s energy and my intuitive energy merge to try and capture her essence,” she says.

Reich’s understanding of humanity is owed in part to her other occupation of 25 years as a hypnotherapist. After training at the National Guild of Hypnotists, based in Merrimack, N.H., family history and the way patterns repeat generations down the line intrigued her. Influenced by the notion of birth and womb trauma, she has concluded that an individual’s genetic memory comes into play at conception and that trauma is inherited as well. She wrote a book on the topic, “Why Me,” which focuses on genetic programming’s effect. In her case, Reich says that all of her descendants on her mother’s side, with the exception of her grandparents, were Holocaust victims and she is enduring the trauma that they experienced first-hand.

“You have a lot of trauma that you can’t tell where it’s from. That’s typical of people who have survived trauma in their family history,” explains Reich. She says she is a descendant of a long line of philanthropists and has picked up on that characteristic as well.

Reich uses hypnosis in her private practice where she assists clients work through birth trauma. Some of her clientele include royalty as well as celebrities in art, film and fashion. Reich was even featured in an article in the November 1992 issue of Italian Vogue that discussed her work with various celebrities.

While sculpture and hypnosis may seem worlds apart, Reich explains the marriage of the two and the effect it has on her work.

“Because hypnotherapy deals with the subconscious mind, that mind state is a very important attribute to creating sculpture or art in general. It’s the key to the creative process,” she says. “I can empathetically connect with the model and bring out their soul and their true essence rather than just something that would be a photographic imitation. That’s not who they are.”


To view Reich’s work, visit


LB Indy intern Torie Hamilton is enrolled at Biola University.

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