Conversation with the Artists: Lorraine Bubar, Peter Kempson, Stephanie Visser
Family Trees, Lorraine Bubar
In her latest exhibition, artist Lorraine Bubar continues to explore papercut techniques by representing family tree motifs, including various associations with the words "family" and "trees." Bubar's papercutting technique is rooted in an art form traditionally used to graphically represent the hierarchy in families over generations and practiced in many cultures, ranging from Eastern Europe and Asia to Mexico. Trees, therefore, lend a framework to Bubar's work as trunks and branches create strong vertical and horizontal lines, often accompanied by playful animal imagery. Layering delicately cut paper, Bubar reveals bold color contrasts and lacey textural patterns reflecting the contrast between fragility and strength found in paper itself.
"Let's Have Some Fun!", Peter Kempson
For his current show, artist Peter Kempson makes a departure from his previous Los Angeles street scenes and turns to playful explorations in mixed media. Engaging in humorous social critique, Kempson digitally layers familiar icons from pop culture to create satirical situations and landscapes that dance between fantasy and reality. In "Chairman," Communist revolutionary Mao Zedong becomes a visual pun, rendered as a collage of chairs. Meanwhile works like “L.A. Stratified” convey darker irony as a fanciful tower divides the city on spiraled socio-economic levels -- images of homelessness at its graffitied foundation and winding roads to Beverly Hills opulence at its peak. Injecting color and comedy in his invitation to peer into ornately detailed scenes, Kempson beckons viewers to take a closer look at modern society.
The Inception Series, Stephanie Visser
In her latest body of work, artist Stephanie Visser challenges her viewers with paintings rooted in deeply intimate moments - those which intertwine emotion and memory. According to Visser, these “mental photographs” are reflective of everyday life, conveying paradoxes of sunlight and shadow, stillness and movement, sound and silence. Working in the realm of the abstract, there is no outside reference in Visser’s works. Rather, Visser distills her emotional subjects through color and form. Beginning with a single gesture upon a canvas, Visser builds images layer by layer. Sanding through translucent color washes, scumbled paint, and collaged materials, this laborious process of application and removal reveals a lyrical world of mystery.