“The universal language of humanity spanning across time and geography informs my work.”
– Kayla Bischoff
Masks have been a crucial element in religious iconography, particularly in primitive cultures, and by extension, visual art, which is, of course, how we know about those ancient worlds. Kayla Bischoff’s paintings are filled with faces rendered in simple terms that are nonetheless highly expressive. It is the most immediate way of identifying her work, and these most recent pieces reveal an ever-developing subtlety and variation in her painting. The artist describes it this way: “Gaping mouths, shrugging shoulders, flailing arms, and cackling faces occupy the surface in an overcrowded frenzy. On the surface my paintings are vibrant and playful; however, I invite the viewer to peer closer into the cluttered surface of detailed disorder to discover many of the abstracted figures experiencing some inner trepidation.”
“The style in which I paint is a balance of abstraction, representation, spontaneous expression, and conscious decisions. The characters are hurriedly drawn in frenzy, and then built upon with several layers of paint to enhance the depth of the surface. I convey my ideas in paintings because the immediacy allows for uninhibited mark making. The tactile nature of the paint feels authentic while connecting me to the earliest form of human visual expression.”
In “Vamoose” the figures are strikingly evocative of famous ancient formations such as Stonehenge and Easter Island, and Bischoff is clear that the references are intentional: “I seek to create a connection between contemporary art and that of past civilizations. I reference ancient artworks, such as figurines and masks from various cultures — Andean, Mesoamerican, Japanese, African, Aboriginal, etc. The universal language of humanity spanning across time and geography informs my work. The use of stylized figures acts as a communicative shorthand of body language and facial expressions. I am also greatly inspired by modern artists such as Keith Haring, Jean Dubuffet, and Elizabeth Murray. Through the playfully chaotic layers of figurative abstraction, my work comments on the plight of the individual and humanity as a whole.”
Bischoff’s second solo show Push/Pull: Paintings by Kayla Bischoff will be on exhibit February 1 - 26 at the Krempp Gallery in Jasper, Indiana. There is an opening reception February 2, from 5-7pm.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, (Magna Cum Laude) Studio Art: Painting Emphasis/Minors in Art History & Psychology, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY, 2014
Gallery Representative: Galerie Hertz
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.