CONGRATULATIONS IACA CYCLE #24
MINI-GRANT RECIPIENT, KO SMITH!
Click here to learn about our other Cycle #24 mini-grant winner, Raymond Enriquez. Click here to learn about Cycle #9 nonprofit mini-grant winner,
Big Apple Leadership Academy for the Arts.
The following are excerpts from his grant proposal:
My artwork explores the construction of identity and nationhood, language, and narrative. Working primarily in oil painting, I use art as a lens to examine our cultural behaviors and perception of the world. My practice also crosses disciplines, including conceptually-based sculpture and installation. It carries influences from one artistic technique to another as I explore our contemporary context through my artistic lens.
I have been a practicing Artist for 15 years. Throughout my career, the themes uniting my projects involve personal and collective memories' interaction with daily experience to shape our cumulative understanding of the moment. In my work, figures emerge from abstracted settings, responding to the task of interpreting events both major and quotidian. I place my works into a "Memory Palace" – a way of placing each painting or drawing into a narrative that progresses as my life unfolds. Engaging with the world with the assumption of faulty perception, I draw connections between events and ideas, occasionally utilizing mnemonic devices to give a thematic structure to the work. This plays out in each piece with imagery that is at the same time personal, specific, vague, and open to interpretation with the ultimate goal to immerse the viewer.
This grant will primarily be used to fund the completion of the remaining works in the Partisan series; mainly the acquisition of materials. Once "Partisan" is completed, any remaining funds will go toward designing and publishing a catalogue for the series. I also want to integrate the ink technique from my Vita Sui series with figuration and portraiture, the heart of my practice. This will allow for innovation while remaining true to my style.
Color is central to the understanding of the "Partisan" series. Rendered in red and blue, they simultaneously represent the political schism that is increasingly gripping America and our nuanced nature as individuals. This series embraces the complexity of identity through its multi-layered technique; incorporating drawing, oil painting, and screen printing, it creates a physical metaphor to the multi-layered construction of identity, built over a lifetime.