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Kelli Maeshiro’s Solo Show, “In the Rear View Mirror” at Artery Art Space
June 8 @ 6:00 pm - June 29 @ 7:00 pm
Artery Art Space is proud to present “In the Rear View Mirror”, a solo exhibit by Kelli Maeshiro featuring works of pure painterly approaches to color effervescent with dream and emotion, distinguished by a strong sense of graphic design in shape and line that delineates figure from background, form with content, abstraction from figuration, in establishing a narrative for identity and personal strength. Maeshiro’s paintings has the charm of a Japanese animated feature that mix youthful joy, innocence, and whimsy in confronting the perils of the real world; whilst exploring contemporary concepts on micro pop, femininity and the self in a post-internet world.
Aren’t we all contaminated by from where we come? As much as we might try to convey ourselves in adulthood as polished and serene, we are super-melodic: songs from a past we can’t remember properly (because we are no longer there). This is especially true from the position of an adopted person who in youth is trying to ascertain who she is going to become. In this series of paintings by Kelli Maeshiro, the figure recognizes that she is not meant to arrive anywhere. That the idea that the figure has a natural location or place to be is a farce. Despite all the pressures that imply she is meant to stare directly at her audience and make her entirety available to an artist’s gaze, she is exercising her right to refuse. She is cognizant that there are parts of herself that she cannot know. That there are facets of her past that cannot be reconciled through looking into someone else’s eyes. Maeshiro’s work reflects, then, a sense of coyness, refutation, and grief. Rather than some clean return to a fully-imagined past, Maeshiro has drawn over the painted glaze, geometric shapes and Japanese kimono patterns (sourced from her grandmother, a traditional Japanese doll-maker).
The women represented here are embracing what it means to turn away. To reject the idea that we are meant to be knowable. Valuable only insomuch as we are willing to be encountered. Instead these women are embracing what it means to be lost in themselves. Lost in the color palette of women who came before them and will come after–women they have never known but feel intimately. These paintings involve drawing on top of many layers of shapes and washes. Foggy and dreamy memories are supplanted, but still present, amidst precise floral motifs. It seems that for Maeshiro these works come from a place in her which one could call nowhere, but one could also call the extension of her childhood into a dreamscape of the present-day. These women claim power in not-looking, looking elsewhere, and looking away. We are fortunate to witness them in moments of discovery: Maeshiro has bore witness to women who are beginning to give themselves permission to say that what they have always needed to say, to people who are feeling what they have always had the right to feel.
Kelli Maeshiro graduated from Willamette University, Oregon and was a resident Artist at the Vermont Studio Center (US), Studio Kura in Japan, and will be participating in an upcoming residency in the early part of 2020 at the Women’s Studio Workshop in NY. Maeshiro’s paintings are characterized as delicate and introspective, creating an inviting atmosphere that portrays themes of longing, memory, and ennui. She has exhibited both locally and abroad in various spaces which include Artery Art Space, West Gallery, Mono8Gallery, Blanc, Vinyl on Vinyl, and GEDOK-Berlin (Germany).
– from the website of Artery