KIM WUZ HERE! is my solo show at the beautiful CINQ Gallery on Dragon Street in the Dallas Design District. Show runs through June 18, 2017.
Kim Wuz Here!, 70” x 96” diptych, mixed media on hardboard, 2017. Overlapping figures are jumping with jubilation. The spray painted words “KIM WUZ HERE” are making a statement as if scribbled by a graffiti artist proudly declaring their presence. This large diptych is a celebration of my first solo exhibition in Dallas, named KIM WUZ HERE. I am proud, grateful and extremely excited to have my work hanging in this fantastic city! Once it was confirmed that everything really IS bigger in Texas, I immediately knew what my title piece would be. For 15 years I have been waiting for the opportunity to create a piece big enough to pay homage to one of my all-time favorite paintings- Peggy Guggenheim’s mural by Jackson Pollock. KIM WUZ HERE is only a fraction of the size of the mural, and I can’t say it really looks like it either, that was never my intention. But if you’re familiar with the mural, hopefully you will recognize my attempt to recreate it’s larger than life energy. And coincidentally (because I had actually forgotten) art historians claim that Jackson Pollock wrote his name straight across the massive mural, but it’s hidden so well within the painting that it’s very hard to make out. Though mine is much easier to read, the decision to write the words KIM WUZ HERE across my own painting must’ve been a totally subconscious, yet appropriate, decision on my part.
The City (pink), 48" x 48" diptych, mixed media on hardboard, 2017. Before my parents and I moved to NJ in the early 70s we lived in the Hell's Kitchen area of NYC. My parents still worked in the city so we didn't move far, and I still commuted every day to hang out with my babysitter, a jolly old Irish longshoreman named Pat Flannery who was our neighbor in our old building. I spent my days bar hopping with Pat, sitting on torn stools, drinking Shirley Temples, counting as many old mosaic floor tiles as I could in our little smoke-filled dives. Outside, I was mesmerized by the crowded sidewalks and the endless rows of layered and torn billboards decorated with graffiti. Having parents in show business, the exuberantly designed billboards were always a particular favorite of the young artist in me. Peaking through the background of this painting are ads for musicals and plays that I’ve torn from the New York Times. The foreground depicts tangled figures in movement which represent the busy streets of NYC. I also used layers of joint compound, acrylics, latex, spray paint, artists’ crayons and pencils, etc. to somewhat portray the feel of the Hell’s Kitchen that I remember as a kid.
Windmill Man, 48" x 30", mixed media on hardboard, 2017
Madame Bijou, 72” x 48”, mixed media on hardboard, 2017. Not long ago, I had the honor of being escorted to the most fabulous art opening reception I have ever attended on the upper East Side of Manhattan. While at the bar, trying to decide between the champagne, 4 different wines, or any of the 8 fine Cuban rums, I couldn’t help but be entranced by the heavily made-up elderly woman in the center of the gallery who was dripping with jewels, sequins, and a tall feathered headpiece, which probably added a good 12 inches to her 5 foot frame. Attempting to hide the fact that I was studying her face, I wondered what this woman was really like. Was she happily loving life and her costume-like attire was a product of her self-confidence and whimsy? Was she sad and alone, and tragically trying to relive her once bedazzling youth? I’ll never know for sure, but her image stayed with me so I eventually decided to paint her. I never found out her name, so when the finished portrait reminded me of Brassai’s 1932 photograph, Madame Bijou in the Bar de la Lune, of a heavily jeweled Parisian bar-fly with drawn in lips and smeared mascara, whose once-upon-a-time glamour had faded and torn with age, I had to name her Madame Bijou.
Madame's new home in Dallas!
The Decision, 66” x 48”, mixed media on hardboard, 2017. I started working on this piece one day when various family issues and decisions were preoccupying my thoughts. I was in a completely indecisive mood at that moment about everything in my life and had no idea where I was going with this painting. All I knew for certain, in that moment, was that I didn't know anything. So I went with that. Even though it doesn’t look like me (I hope) it felt like me at the time. Like someone lost, someone who needed to make a decision but couldn’t. Thus the title, The Decision.
Chasing Rays, 48” x 72”, mixed media on hardboard, 2017. This piece is about chasing your dreams. There are figures climbing through sun rays, trying to reach their goals. Everyone has their own goals, but for me, I’ve had two. First came my goal to become successful a painter, which I will work toward for the rest of my life, always striving to grow and become a better artist. Second, and more importantly, this painting is about my now 4 year old twin daughters. Not for anything in my life have I fought as hard as I did than when I was trying to have our girls, going though 6 years of infertility- drugs, hormones, pills, endless injections, procedures, surgeries, daily ultrasounds and blood work, fighting with doctors and insurance, risking our entire savings, traveling out-of-state, the heartbreaking loss of 3 previous sets of twins, and on, and on. At the time, it seemed like it would never end. While the pain of continuing this nightmare was horrible, the pain of quitting would forever be so much worse. We chased our dream and eventually achieved it. During my pregnancy, my husband nicknamed the twins, “The Rays”, as in “our rays of sunshine”, and on 12/12/12, I gave birth to two stunningly beautiful, strong, healthy girls, Dylan and Layla, weighing in at 7.5 lbs and 8.2 lbs, both fierce and ready to take on the world from day one. And now that they’re 4 years old, I am still chasing those fierce and very energetic rays. :)
Bell Bottom Blues, 48” x 24”, mixed media on hardboard, 2017. Once upon a time, many many years ago, there was a prince and a very cool bell-bottom wearing princess who fell in love. Their “song” was Bell Bottom Blues by Eric Clapton. Every time this young couple heard that song, they’d instantly fall in love all over again. But over the years, the song wasn’t played as often as it once was. The prince and princess started growing old and life, for better and for worse, started to set in. They remained together, living through good times and bad, but experienced many heartaches and tragedies along the way that became difficult to recover from. The song eventually stopped playing, leaving the prince and princess with sad hearts, longing for their blues to fade away and the song to magically replay and bring their love back to life, as it once did so many years ago.
To be continued…
BBB's new home in Dallas!
Paper Dolls II, 42” x 72”, mixed media on hardboard, 2017. Paper Dolls II was actually inspired by the Always "Like A Girl" ads from a couple years ago. The ads encouraged young girls to have self-confidence, reminding them that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to...and that doing something "like a girl" is a compliment, not an insult. I only hope that my husband and I are teaching our own girls not just to have confidence and determination themselves, but to encourage it in others, and treat others with respect, acceptance, kindness, and understanding.
Banana Man, 48” x 48”, mixed media on hardboard, 2017. One morning during breakfast, my husband, who was under a lot stress at the time, was ranting, raving, pacing, then suddenly cracking jokes. Our centerpiece on the table was a perfect bowl of bananas that morning. Luckily, I had my sketch book in hand and secretly sat there drawing a thumbnail of what would soon become Banana Man.
The Secret, 42” x 72”, mixed media on hardboard, 2017. I’m not telling. ;-)
The Daydreamers, 48” x 48”, mixed media on hardboard, 2017.
The Second Storm, 72” x 48”, mixed media on hardboard, 2017.
The Watchers, 42" x 42", mixed media on canvas, 2017
Where a Tree Grows, 44" x 44", mixed media on canvas, 2017.
Rebirth, 60" x 44", mixed media on canvas, 2017
Urban Shark, 24" x 18", mixed media on paper, 2017
Double Time, 44" x 44", mixed media on canvas, 2017.