Beds and guns are highly charged cultural symbols that artist Kim Piotrowski dissects in her most recent mixed media paintings featured in Kanter McCormick Gallery. The solo exhibition debuts the largest acrylic paintings on paper by the artist to date. As analogies for life, the two separate series of new paintings – one series of beds and one series of guns – exhibited together transform the simple three-letter words into a image that represents having and losing control. For the past several years, Kim Piotrowski has been manipulating photojournalistic imagery of impactful current world events found online into her painted and drawn abstractions. In her expressive style, she prompts us to consider the compromising and unplanned roles we face in life. She employs bold and flowing lines that capture the feeling of chaos of such events as a hotel bombing in Mumbai. Yet, her paintings can equally capture the desire for calm and comfort found in a roadside memorial made visible through her use of sepia-toned interludes painted among patches of intense color and abstract pattern. The new work presented by Piotrowski at the Art Center collapses global scale and private experience into one moment by addressing the significant personal episodes that mark every human life: birth, love, sickness, and death.
According to Piotrowski, “The bed can be seen as a place of record where one loves, dreams, and dies. Death, and the line that exists between having power and having it taken away, also fuels my art. In the process of making this work, I keep unfolding parallels that I find very exciting to explore. Painting demands time to savor and analyze. Working with these images affords me to live through the ideas and to find deeper meaning within.”