I love Amy Kligman’s paintings. They’re unashamedly naive with their own strange story to tell. It’s a difficult art to be able to construct images with simple brushwork, patterns and characters without succumbing to the need to add more – making the picture more complex, technical. In Amy’s case she doesn’t. Her style is unique and restrained with a folk aesthetic, her use of pattern exceptional.
What’s most interesting about her work is the structure of her images, where she places her subject in the frame; the blank spaces, the balance between solid forms and pattern work.
Here’s what she has to say about her work:
This work celebrates the disruption, however small, of the expected. There is a certain symmetry, a prevailing banality and stillness, only occasionally interrupted by some half noticeable absurdity. One could argue that this is a parallel to our routine lives, primarily spent in some automatic mode of everyday activity, begging for the details that separate one day or hour from the next so as to make it stand out, make it special. You could even argue that desire for “specialness” leads individuals that are otherwise functioning as part of the societal hive to act out, to call attention…to get that crazy haircut or shiny car that disrupts a sea of gray sedans.
There is the tension of what appears “normal” but is in fact slightly adjacent. The colors, the method and application of paint, the shiny resin surface: all are employed to take away from any indication of “reality”. Certain details are off, skewed, indicative of an interference, disorder, or imperfect pattern. This world is the world you and I know, but it also is not. Its a made up world, comprised of bits and pieces of the familiar and the familiar desire to be something else, something more than that, something different. Special.
I look forward to seeing more. She currently has a solo show at the Lawrence Art Center, Lawrence, Kansas. USA.
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