By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
She always paints the girl in oils, always on wood panel. She sketches the face, the torso, the breasts, legs and gangly arms and fingers, then starts brushing in the lights and darks. Sometimes the girl won't cooperate. She refuses to come out. Nothing to do then but switch to another painting and bide your time. But there is a moment when, eventually, the girl arrives. "Oh, my God, she's here!" the artist will say.
At these moments, she becomes the epitome of ideal beauty to Kawasaki: confident, powerful, sexual, vulnerable. It's something to do with the lines or the shading, and it usually happens early on, when the painting is only half-finished.
It's important to tread lightly at this stage. Facial expression is subtle. One wayward line, one misapplied curve of the lip or eyelid can send the girl running, and Kawasaki will have to labor for hours to coax her back.
The girl often pouts. Sometimes she looks drugged, languid, her skin so translucent you can see the heart beating beneath it. Her eyes are big. Probably because Kawasaki, 28, was raised on the doe-eyed heroines of manga and anime.
As with certain varieties of Japanese animation, Kawasaki is criticized for eroticizing very young girls. The haters take one look at her dewy, full-lipped, nubile-breasted muse entwined with other naked teenage nymphettes, and charge her with promoting pedophilia. "That's the hardest part," she says.
Occasionally, out in the real world, Kawasaki encounters people who embody her girl's essence. Kawasaki almost can't look directly at them, would never even consider speaking to them. "It's exciting but frightening, too," she says, sitting cross-legged on the floor of her quiet studio.
Kawasaki isn't insane. She knows she is constantly chasing a persona that doesn't exist. She likes that she can't capture the girl fully, because then she can keep painting her. Problems of artistic representation, the idea of the corrupting flesh and the ability of material art to portray divine spiritual truths are old as the Renaissance.
Over the years, Kawasaki's paintings have grown darker, more melancholy. Her girl is a shape-shifter. She pops up in various erotic and/or creepy scenarios: schoolgirl with human-anatomy models; geisha with cranes; nude with crocodiles; forest sprite with the spirits of foxes. In one painting, she's marching in a parade of yokai, Japanese fairy-tale demons, each assigned a mischievous purpose: "They do different things to people. It was her being able to mix and mingle amongst them."
In another, she's surrounded by rabbits with their eyes closed. Are the rabbits sleeping? "No, they're dead," Kawasaki says sweetly.
Her girl's personal history is vague. She exists in a netherworld. "She's like a ghost, maybe."
Is the artist sad to let the girl go once each painting is done? A small, enigmatic smile flits across Kawasaki's face. "Oh, but I have to."
whoever wrote this article deserves to be praised.. through the words that he\she used.. and the flow of the article..it really captured the eerie..melancholic.. innocent feel of kawasaki's artwork.. love it.. this article makes me wanna love audrey kawasaki more!!!
Audrey Kawasaki is, and always will be, one of my favorite artists! There is something about the way she captures the female image that is so soft and sensual. I am a big time fan!
Congratulations ^___^ xhttp://icepandora.blogspot.com
Haters be damned, would love to see your next art show, because it must be insanely good if you can muster the snark to criticise this beautiful, talented woman?
And for whatever reason Monroe, her work seems to have a positive connection with a number of fans. Could you not apply a similar formula of criticism to someone like Dali (floppy objects + bizarre landscape + canvas = Dali success) or Mondriaan (primary colour + line + paint = Mondriaan success)? your simplistic 'formula' of appraisal of her work seems to indicate that you believe she's over-hyped or over-appreciated? At the end of the day though, it sounds like her work is coming from a personal place for the artist and if that's so, then who am I or who are you to say what it should or shouldn't consist of (even if it's formulaic or repetitive)?
I love how she now claims that her work features the same one girl since receiving unwanted critiques instead of owning up to how this is just her brand.
Can confirm that her statement about her work featuring the same girl is because of unwanted critiques? Or is this just random hearsay you're throwing out there as fact, under the anonymity of the Internet?
She has been doing this since she was a student at Pratt, long before being in the public eye. Your biting cynicism and cruel statements are unfair and based on absolutely nothing.
all along she's said it was one girl. here's a 2008 juxtapoz interview: http://i-seldom-do.livejournal...
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