In Binna Kim’s artwork, she aims to present a stimulating mixture of nature and a view from her vivid imagination.
Whether in colorful abstract works or visual interpretation of nature, the works demonstrate keen attention to the smallest detail in order to emphasize the depth of expression and emotive beauty of nature. This combination helps bring the audience to a different world, a stage for viewing scenery in an emotionally evocative way. While viewing the works, the artist’s visual expression and interpretation by the audience merge and go hand in hand to evoke a memory, a passion, or a feeling unique to each of us.
Emotions-19 Series focuses on positive emotions that we might have forgotten for a while due to Covid-19 pandemic, such as love, joy, comfort and gratitude.
Binna Kim is a self-taught artist with a few different yet special career backgrounds. She is based in New York as an artist, floral designer and window display designer. Binna’s childhood was spent on the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, against the backdrop of mountains and ocean that first inspired her art. Natural forms have remained a central theme in her work, and as her art career flourished she developed an interest in floral design and plant-based installations. Binna’s arrangements have graced vitrines at flagship locations of Beretta, Madison Avenue Gallery and Oxxford Clothes, and at renowned boutiques across New York City.
Issue Six is now available digitally for free or $25 for a printed version.
Artists in issue six
Robert Gorchov *Cover Artist
Thelma Van Rensburg
“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul,” Valentina says, quoting Wassily Kandinsky.
Since Val discovered the Science of Color Therapy she continuously experiments with the healing power of colors. She realized on a deeper level the influence of colors on the lives quality.
“As for today, I use that knowledge in my paintings. Working on it I convey an emotional surge and sense of color. We know since ancient times that properly balanced colors have a mysterious effect on the human psycho-emotional state, improve our health and mood. So, I inlay the knowledge of how colors can transform a person’s life in every brushstroke. The correctly selected artwork has a permanent meditative effect which definitely will help you to find a balance and state of mind,” Valentina says.
Valentina loves to draw since early childhood. While she studied at the Art School, she was sure that creativity will always be a vital part of her life. Later she studied Interior Design where her favorite subjects were painting and art history. The mesmerizing artworks of Salvador Dali, George Braque, Amadeo Modigliani, Piet Mondrian, and Kandinsky had an indelible impact on her. Their artworks influenced more her perception of color than of style. It is harmoniously balanced both in color scheme and emotional components.
Val has a passion for traveling, as she considers it the best means for inspiration.
She was born in a small town in the place known as Bessarabia, and
from a young age, she moved from one place to another, gained experience, absorbing the charms of each of them.
At the age of 18, while her family lived in Israel, she moved to Russia, where she continued to study, meet other young artists, and share her experience.
For several years she lived in the foothills of the Caucasus on the shore of the Black Sea.
She traveled a lot and was inspired by the culture of different peoples.
Indelible impressions were received during a traveling through India where she dived into the riot of colors of the wild east. She traveled around Mexico and Guatemala exploring traditional Aztec and Mayan ornament. Great!
“I love to create something new, to experiment with styles and shapes, colors and textures. I observe how it influences the other people,” Valentina says.
For quite a long period, her choice was on soft pastels, it was a very bright wave in her life, the results were pleasing. Val started working on graphics, precise clear lines, and dot-work. This process absorbed her completely, but she didn’t want to stop there either.
Since 2017, Val lives and creates in the US. Along with the moving, acrylic paints and large canvases came into her life.
“It is like different poles of my nature, on the one hand, it is black and white graphics, clear lines and the smallest details, and on the other hand it is a colorful self-expression,” Valentina says.
Recently, at a traveling carnival, I came across one of those old coin-operated fortune-telling machines. You put a quarter in the slot, a figure comes to life, waves its “hand” over a glass ball, and out pops a scroll of paper with your future written on it. I was struck by the device’s mannequin, wrapped in colorful, patterned, silks and the device’s antique carved wood cabinet, with brass detailing. I was also intrigued by the idea that this mechanical device with gears and cogs was somehow supposed to be able to tell me my future. How could a cold machine possibly know my life’s destiny? Of course, it can’t. Like the fortune cookie or the Magic 8 Ball, these things are meant solely for entertainment.
Yet, they still hold power over us. For some people, a Ouija board or a deck of tarot cards can be the couriers of life-changing information. These objects are believed to possess mystifying and arcane knowledge, even though, in reality, they are just novelty consumer products. The clerk at the magic store orders a gross of tarot cards whenever the stock is low and a new Ouija board can be purchased in the board game section of your local toy store, next to Chutes and Ladders.
The thing that makes these items magical can be found in their construct…not in just how they are made or their graphic design, but in their entire idea. Usually, the stories around these items are just as important as the items themselves; and the contexts in which they are used play a massive part in their power.
I began to wonder if there are other objects that somehow provide knowledge through purely mechanical means. Old analog calculators leaped to mind, the slide ruler, the abacus, and the mechanical adding machine with its crank handle. These devices also convey complicated ideas through the simple arrangement of moving parts. And their power is not questioned. All of ancient China was controlled using sliding beads on an abacus.
Like the fortune-telling machine at the fair, these tools of science were often also beautiful, delicately carved devices with inlaid brass and ivory. Although these machines were based on math, for some, they too possess mystifying and arcane knowledge. They have their own mysticism, their own sacred places of use, and their own histories and lore. In the hands of mystics at NASA, the slide ruler took us to the moon.
So here I present a new paradigm. What if science made devices that could calculate more than just numbers? What if engineers and mathematicians could come up with formulas and conversion wheels that could tell us who to love or the nature of the soul? What might it look like if all the mysteries of the world could be quantified, laid out in charts, then formatted into easy-to-use slide wheels? What if there was a company that had been creating just such devices for decades? This collection is a celebration of that idea
The theme of my works is coming from “To Live”. Most of them, if anything, are based on “sorrow” and “trouble” around us. Among these sorrow things, I shift my thought to feel a thanks. When I feel a thank, I see a small “dream” near in the future. It is “drawing” for me to make a form from a small dream.
I spend a lot of time watching paint dry which is fine because I consider myself to be, first and foremost, a painter. Experiments in drawing led me to tear paper and arrange found objects, lifting me off the paint surface into collage and assemblage. The arrival of furniture ‘shards’ seemed a natural extension of this process and allowed me to step outside the bounds of academic art. Recovered from alleys and yard sales, the chairs, tables and dressers introduce a human element to, otherwise, complex gestures. They represent a human scale with human references: arms, feet, legs, backs, seats and so on. An anthropomorphic whisper keens behind the work.
During a year spent teaching in Japan, I visited ancient Kyoto several times and loved the wooden artifacts of rice cultivation–splintered and gray–honored in retirement, placed around the wood-and-paper houses, sometimes mounted on the exterior as decoration. The ‘Kyoto’ series with its layered wooden designs owes its origins to this memory. ‘Debris Fields’ differ in that they are created from just one fractured furniture piece, making them bolder, simpler, and more colorful.
. . . which brings us back to the paint. Except for the base coat and a rare touch with a brush, the paint is poured and sprayed; it flows and drools and cracks and oozes. You’d think it would add a chaotic element. Quite the contrary, the paint imposes order while charging the pieces chromatically and emotionally; it creates harmonies or contrasts that give depth to the human gestures.
Coming from a severely dysfunctional family which led to group homes and institutionalization in her teenage years, Susan Spangenberg cut her outsider artist teeth at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center’s renown ‘Living Museum’ art rehabilitation program. She was on the vanguard of the ‘Girl Interrupted’ female asylum artist wave that has in twenty years become the new normal, yet Susan has maintained the raw essence of that genre imbued with a twenty-first century sensibility.