Unnatural Plans, an exhibition of new paintings from Masako Mike and Steven Lopez, is an exploration of the artist’s cultural identities and the influence that communities play in shaping these identities and the resulting narratives that define their work. These narratives manifest in paintings where intricate patterns and contradicting spatial elements such as flatness and illusion suggest a disoriented context, where dichotomy becomes integrated with visual reality. The visual images represented in these paintings, highlighted by bright and contrasting colors, reflect the vibrant cultures, landscapes, and natural world in a celebration of the cultural and natural diversity of California.
Masako Miki is a native of Japan and now lives and works in Berkeley. She has exhibited throughout the Bay Area. Recently she was a residency artist at the Contemporary Artists Center in Troy, New York, and a nominee for the 2010 SECA award. She also received an Individual Artist Award from The Santo Foundation this summer. She received her MFA from San Jose State University.
Steven Vasquez Lopez, a native Californian, has had several gallery exhibitions and was awarded the 2006 Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the William Dole Memorial Scholarship, and the Abrams Prize. Steven holds a BA in Art Studio from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute.