Justin Kim’s work combines the grand tradition of landscape painting with a contemporary sensibility, exploring themes including the relationship between technology and the artist’s hand. His work generates tension between artifice and reality while challenging traditional painting structures.
Born in Hartford, CT, Mr. Kim received a B.A. from Yale and an MFA from the American University in Washington, D.C. While at Yale, he worked as an intern for the artist David Hockney.
He has exhibited across the Northeast including: Denise Bibro, Brenda Taylor and Bowery Galleries in New York City, B.J. Spoke in Huntington, NY, The Oxbow Gallery in Northampton, MA and Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati. Recent grants and awards include a Working Artist Grant (2014) and Best in Show Award by Andrew Russeth, Senior Editor at the New York Observer for the Art of the Northeast Competition. His work has been included in Studio Visit and Fresh Paint Magazines. He was also one of 20 artists selected to represent New York City in Artist Portfolio Magazine. This spring he was a resident at The Studios at Mass MOCA in North Adams, MA.
Mr. Kim has taught at Yale, Dartmouth, Smith College and Deep Springs College in CA.
Your work should reflect what you find to be important, beautiful and true – not only subject matter, but HOW you work. A painting shouldn’t just “represent” something – it should embody your EXPERIENCE of being in the world.
My most recent work involves large mixed-media landscapes on Stonehenge paper. The subjects are drawn from personal experience: the view from my studio in New York, a wharf on the coast of Cape Cod, the desert valley in California where I’ve lived and taught. Using elements from these scenes, I “reconstitute” them using a combination of digital images, drawings, memory, invention and abstraction. The result is a plasticity of form and perception that mirrors my experience of being in the world: different points of view merge into coherent space. Color choices range from natural to synthetic. My use of materials to describe forms constantly shifts: shape – contour – pattern – wash – diagram – color field, etc.
My aim is to represent perception as fluid yet tangible, where different pieces of information are drawn from our surroundings. Elements in the paintings are obviously fabricated (i.e. there’s no attempt to hide the process). At the same time, I’m working to create a believable world. This contradiction between synthetic and real reflects both the possibilities and limitations of what it means to be human: Although we’re rooted in seeing things from one physical spot, we experience the world expansively through projection, synthesis, imagination and discovery.
All the work is based – conceptually - on my commitment to nature, perception, personal experience and the historical evolution of visual media. My process is guided by personal idiom, intuitive choice and aesthetic sensibility. The goal is to make work that speaks to as large an audience as possible – challenging how we think about both shared and subjective experiences while furthering a larger conversation about painting as a reflection of the contemporary world.
Made With Color Presents: Justin Kim Plays With Our Perception And Immersive Landscapes