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KIra Nam Greene
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant



ARTIST STATEMENT: My paintings and drawings negotiate the duality and dichotomy of my existence as an Asian immigrant woman in America. As an outsider, I am more aware of the contradictions in the plurality of cultures in the present American society. As a feminist, I am repulsed and demoralized by the objectification of female bodies in art history and popular culture, yet I find myself strongly attracted to sensuality of these images. This paradox has led me to combine the rigidity of patterns with the imagery of desire in the female body. In recent work, I replace the body with the images of lusciously styled food while heightening the complexity with the mixture of patterns and icons derived from various Western and Eastern sources. The resulting images are self-portraits that represent the plurality and multiplicity of my identity as an Asian-American immigrant woman. The patterns, signifiers for both eastern and western cultures form architectural platforms that simultaneously showcase and suffocate the food. The food, both in harmony and clash with its surroundings, is the body (literally and metaphorically) and the surrogate for desire to consume and control. Densely packed and precisely hand-painted patterns simultaneously create and interrupt the space where the still life is presented. The rhythm of the patterns is echoed in the composition of the still life and natural patterns found in the food. A complicated interweaving of foreground and background, created by patterns, icons, painterly smears and the realistic depiction of still lifes, in many different styles and mediums, generates confounding spatial ebb and flow, and increases the spatial tension. While the images of the food are reminiscent of the Dutch still life tradition, the divergent styles, collage-like dissonance and the breaking of the picture planes acknowledge the practice of painting in a post-modern era. At the same time, through a labor-intensive process of hand painting, I cast a critical eye on the mechanical reproduction and proliferation of imagery in our daily lives. In more recent pieces, I am also exploring the ethical and ecological aspects of modern food consumption by juxtaposing mass-produced industrial food with organic, homemade products. Particularly, I subvert the marketing messages of famous brands by placing their advertising slogans out of context among highly crafted patterns rooted in older cultural traditions in an effort to examine the proliferation of advertising imagery and its impact on visual culture.
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  • Lychee Cocktail
    2016
    Oil, flashe and acrylic ink on canvas
    50"x40"

  • Miss Havisham Invites You to Tea
    2014
    Oil, acrylic ink, pigment pen and flashe on canvas
    50"x40"

  • Orientalism I
    2015
    Oil, flashe and acrylic ink on canvas
    40"x60"

  • Orientalism I, detail
    2015
    Oil, flashe and acrylic ink on canvas
    40"x60"

  • Rapture of Summer
    2015
    Oil, acrylic ink, pigment pen and flashe on canvas
    40"x60"

  • Mello Jello
    2016
    Watercolor, gouache and colored pencil on paper mounted on panel
    50"x36"

  • Ring Ding vs. Ding Dong
    2016
    Watercolor, gouache, acrylic ink and acrylic paint on paper mounted on panel
    50"x36"

  • Nebraska Suite No. 5: Reddi to Wip
    2015
    Watercolor, colored pencil and gouache on paper
    44"x30"

  • Nebraska Suite No. 7: Blue Bonnet
    2015
    Watercolor, pigment pen and gouache on paper
    44"x30"

  • Nebraska Suite No. 6: Hail to the Chef
    2015
    Watercolor, acrylic ink and gouache on pape
    44"x30"

  • Nebraska Suite No. 1: Half a Fig
    2014
    Watercolor and gouache on pape
    44"x30"

  • Nebraska Suite No. 2: Bubbly Eggplant
    2014
    watercolor and pigment pen on paper
    44"x30"

  • Peanut Butter, Saba & Ketchup
    2013
    Colored pencil, watercolor, gouache, acrylic ink, collage & rhinestone on paper mounted on panel
    40"x80"

  • Nibble, Nibble, Gnaw
    2012
    watercolor, pastel, colored pencil, gouache, flashe, modeling clay & pigment pen on paper mounted on panel
    40"x70"

  • Kimchi Joy
    2013
    Colored pencil, gouache, acrylic ink & watercolor on paper
    36"x30"

  • Cool as a Cucumber in a Bowl of Hot Sauce
    2013
    Colored pencil, watercolor and gouache on paper
    36"x30"

  • Happiness Is Just a Bowl of Cherries
    2011
    colored pencil, gouache and watercolor pencil on paper
    36"x30"

  • Fragments of Dynasty
    2016
    Site specific installation with ceramic plates and wall drawing
    dimension variable

  • Blue Plate Special
    2013
    Digital custom wallpaper and drawing installation
    dimension variable

  • Wave of Mutilation
    2012
    Installation of custom wallpaper, oil painting and tempera on the wall
    144"x144"
 








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