10 January 2010

Audrey Kawasaki @ Jonathan LeVine

I was fortunate enough to catch the final day of Audrey Kawasaki's NY exhibit today with The Retrospective's Gitamba, who was in NY for a few wonderful days. It's called Hajimari–a prelude, and was at Jonathan LeVine Gallery on W 20th Street.

Hajimari - a prelude

For those who are unfamiliar with her work, Kawasaki does illustration and painting on wood. They are nearly all of beautiful girls with pouts and flowy hair, oftentimes featuring underwater themes, skeletons, and creepy little creatures.
The show title Hajimari means beginning in Japanese, and is a word often used in the introduction of a story. Although it is a theme she does not typically explore artistically, Audrey has always felt strongly rooted in two distinct cultures. Born and raised in America, with parents from Japan, she has been immersed in Japanese culture her entire life. Deeply connected to each of the two, she feels both cultures are very much a part of her personal identity.
I haven't gone through my mental list yet, but I can say with a huge degree of confidence that she is my favorite living artist (and has been for a number of years). And there were so many pieces at the show, much to my delight! Here are a few:

Karasu no Jyou (The Bird Queen)

My Dishonest Heart

Mezameru Maeni (Before You Awake)

You can see a few more in my Flickr set, and the exhibit's page has images of all pieces + a description of the show. Hopefully it stays up for a while. Beautiful beautiful beautiful.
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