Muriel Guépin Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibit featuring two artists who have made the city their muse. Although they use completely different medium, both artists’ works resonate the same serene and somewhat hidden beauty of urban life. While Yongjae Kim works with oil paint to recreate hyper realistic paintings of Brooklyn’s streets and brownstones, Fabiana Viso takes photos of existing buildings - but in some cases, removes the emulsion of the photograph to only leave certain areas and details visible -thereby forcing the viewers to question the medium used to reproduce the images. Kim’s work deliberately obscures the artists’ hand -relinquishing any brush strokes from his work and applying paint like pixels dots- while Viso’s removal practice places the human mark in the center of her work. When looking at their work at first Kim’s paintings look like photographs, while Fabiana Viso’s photographs look like drawings.
Yongjae Kim’s recent paintings depict early morning or late night in Brooklyn when the streets are vacant and still. Much like Fabiana Viso, he prefers the look of the city without the congestion of people. The absence of human presence is also mirrored in his hyper realistic painting technic. Kim applies paint like pixels, thereby removing the human mark and making it look almost indistinguishable from a photo. No brush strokes can be seen, and there is no gestural movement within his pieces as he uses a tiny brush to carefully apply paint. Painting in itself is a highly human, and emotional form of art, and the juxtaposition of this historical form and Kim’s hyperrealism and control are somehow unsettling. But what arose is a formidable sense of solitude, loneliness, desolation and melancholy.
Fabiana Viso’s analog photographs are interrupted snapshots of everyday New York cityscapes. Her work deals with the experience of urban space: how we structure space we live in and how we relate to it. But unlike Kim, Viso is interested in disassembling/destructuring spaces and highlighting parts of buildings that we don’t commonly see and don’t recognize at first. By removing some of the emulsion of the photograph, she hides the homes of the inhabitants of the city, to only leave details such as part of roofs and chimneys. Her photographs force the viewer to search for clues within the frame in order to reconstruct what was left out and to question the mechanism used to reproduce the image. It aims to remind the viewer that the power of a photograph lies on what has been left out of the frame.
This exhibition will be on view until May 26, 2016