With many artists’ shows postponed and canceled, many galleries have moved onto digital viewing. Even though we can’t go to galleries and museums, there are plenty to see online. I have browsed Frieze NY shows online which I planned on going to this year. I thought of what would be the best way to help these artists in these tough times. I have decided to introduce several artists who are currently residing in Kansas City. Under these short descriptions of their work are their website, email and social media, so I encourage you to go follow them.
Michelle works in both fiber and sculpture and she is committed to the explorations and experience of being an Asian American in the States. She graduated from Kansas City Art Institute in 2019 and is currently a Charlotte Street resident. Her exploration of her identity is rooted in consumerism is apparent in a lot of her sculptures. Enlarged candy bag in a shopping cart forces a reflection on everyday products which we don’t otherwise. I’m aware of the confusion she must have felt growing up; raised in Japan and the United States, I always felt that even though I’m connected to both cultures. I’m an outsider in both. Where do Asian Americans fit in the United States? Her works such as are trying to desperately merge these two cultures together giving us a platform to think critically. Be sure to visit her website to check out her other works, You Are What You Eat and Mattel Recalls: Zhang Shuhong.
Onnissia’s works are simple in appearance, yet they are deep in intellect, bold, and playful. Onnissia’s work appears printed with on first encounter but with close investigation, you can see it is hand painted carefully with acrylic on paper and canvas. Crisp edges and the pop of color are pleasing to look at. The way she chooses her composition is exciting. She often crops her figure in a way that sometimes only pelvic area is shown, and other times the upper torso. Oftentimes, the negative space and the subject occupy the same space. Painted African American figures display confidence and assertiveness.
Fredy was born in Nicaragua and moved to Kansas City in the year 2000. Fredy’s work has life on its own. Some appear cute, especially Cisco could be your ideal pet. His focus on symmetry with a lot of his works furthering mirroring organisms. His two dimensional work could well be a prototype or sketches for 3 dimensional works; or they could stand as its own thing. His craftsmanship and ability to combine different materials such as wood, metal, fabric, and paintings together to make a refined piece is beyond amazing. Visit his website to see more of his work.
Boiboy is a queer artist working with installation and performance. They received their BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in 2016 from the Fiber Department. I got to see their installation In person at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in 2019. I thought their combination use of light, color, and tactile materials is out of this world. Walking around in their installation immerses you right between I was greeted with early 70’s homie decor such as a couch, quilt, and a lamp but the overall oversaturated color took me somewhere dream like space.
From boiboy’s artist statement,
...I am fascinated with the moment right as you wake up from a dream. That brief second when you have one hand in reality and one in your subconscious. You are blissfully unaware of what happened yesterday and what you have to do today. For a moment you are conscious and aware of your own dream like state which will soon become a fleeting memory. These moments of impossible existence that inspire self transcendence and detachment from reality happen every day of our lives, but are swiftly forgotten. In my work I attempt to recreate these moments of escapism…
Head over to their website to read the rest of the artist statement and take a look at their work based on tarot cards and performance is a must see.