On Opening night at Merry Karnowsky Gallery, art enthusiast waited in a RSVP only line that went down the street and around the corner, even as the rain started to fall from the sky. It’s hard to rationalize why someone would wait in such conditions, but when new works featured by Audrey Kawasaki, Deedee Cheriel, and Tara McPherspn are on view, the wait is understandable. Once I made it past the crowd of people lining up for the bar and others clamoring around paintings to take pictures and posting them to Instagram, I was able to let my imagination become captivated by the three new bodies of work. The first series displayed was new work from Audrey Kawasaki, titled Hirari Hirari, which translates from Japanese as the sound and movement of a petal, leaf, or feather slowly falling. The series was inspired by kimonos “ given to Kawasaki by her mother and draws from natural motifs such as flowers, birds, and flowering lines found in wind and water”. She delicately combines layers of oils onto unprocessed grained wood panels, which showcase her fine line work and flawless execution. Her paintings are usually informed by personal experiences that float between the realistic and the idealized. The women she paints pose in a dreamy duality of nativity and allurement. When taking a closer look, you’ll find each women stares straight on with an unwavering glance, elevating her beyond a beautiful object and into a stance of power.
Deedee Cheriel’s new series, Search For More Than Another Shiny Object, take an interpersonal perspective and fuses it with universal ideals. Her work explores narratives “that recognize the urgency and conflict in our continuing attempts to connect to the world”. With influences and inspiration drawn from East Indian art, spirituality, her Pacific Northwest rural environment, and ceremonial practices. She paints anthropomorphic animals that yell and sing with radiating colors jutting out vibrant exclamations that raise and plateau throughout the scene. Each character engaged in forms of connection that remain a poignant theme throughout her works. Creating a dialogue that rescues us from the continuous desire to search for another shiny object.
Tara McPherson, California artist now living in New York, creates personal expression of relationships through reoccurring themes of love, loss, and a triumphant recovery. In Supernova, sparkly eyed character pose with heart shaped vacancies and open skulls over flowing with a calm release that glistens in the depths of outer space or deep at sea. McPherson continues to seduce us with impeccable portraits possessing brilliant surfaces that capture each heroine in isolated moments of reflection. The fixed gaze creating an air of hope that carries the paintings into introspective rift of fantasy.
Go check out this summer group exhibitions before its over on August 30th