Thursday, August 17, 2006
Audrey Chihiro Kawasaki is a 20-something artist who spent 2 years studying fine arts painting at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and has now returned to her home town of Los Angeles where she paints exquisite, if oftentimes unsettlingly erotic, portraits of young girls on slabs of wood instead of canvass. Aside from clicking on her name (above) to visit her website, you can click here to visit her blog.
I think her work is particularly provocative in the way that it confronts innocence and sexuality simultaneously -or- seduction underneath purity. Her young femme fatales sport come-hither looks which seemingly border on taboo; but I think it keeps its head above the murky waters of perversion by never fully indulging in any particular transgression; instead, Kawasaki toys and teases the viewer, encouraging a temporary derangement of our social and cultural mores, a questioning of our assumptions, perceptions, and established conventions. To put it another way, her work reminds me how valuable art can be as a mechanism to produce a conscious reflection of-and-for the viewer, not merely of-and-for the painting or artist and certainly not of-and-for any objective truth, purpose, reason, belief, morality, or meaning.
Phenomenologically speaking, when we experience art we are really experiencing ourselves, right?: if we are to believe that any given object possesses a potential only as real as the equal potential of the individual who perceives it, then it would reasonably stand to follow that the object and the individual mutually cohabitate, complement, and complete each other according to the specific situation of the object and the existential circumstances of each individual viewer. So, whatever you notice about a particular piece ultimately says more about you than the piece itself.
Art is a mirror.