PORTLAND, OR.- Motel presents the solo exhibition of Kime Buzzelli (Los Angeles). In Initials in Apples and Other Futile Spells, Buzzelli introduces a new series of paintings featuring dreamy and disturbed portraits of girls in delicate and exotic fashions. At once haunting and sublime, these works explore notions of magic, the occult and the mysteries of the woods. The title of the exhibition refers to superstitions and magical spells, like carving initials of the one you love in an apple to divine true romance. Invested in a vocabulary of desire, nature, witchcraft and superstition, Buzzelli's paintings are essentially dark love poems inhabited by wicked women, wild animals, secret societies, and places of wonder and fear.
With a fascination with the lives of others, Buzzelli's narrative vignettes both obscure and reveal. Inserting brief poetic text into the compositions, Buzzelli creates juxtapositions which cloud an immediate reading of the work; it is unclear if the words serve as the thoughts of her subjects, or an omniscient proposition. These bits become suggestions or clues to the fictive lives of her subjects which the viewer is left to unravel.
Informed and inspired by the cult of fashion, Buzzelli's paintings invite voyeurism, seducing the viewer with a fantasy that enchants and unsettles. With a loose, easy painterly style, Buzzelli captures a womanhood that is youthful, mischievous, elusive, demure, alienated and at times, grotesque. Exploring the ambiguity of fashion in the feminine psyche, Buzzelli deftly navigates the contradictions and conflicts of an idealized femininity. In as much as the compositions indulge in aesthetic decadence, they are tempered by atrophy, disintegration, and subversion as suggested by trailing brushstrokes, haunting shadows and use of negative space.
Ultimately, Buzzelli's world of ghostly women flirts with the mystical and mysterious powers of femininity, conveying both its beauty and its contested, conflicted nature.
Kime Buzzelli lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Buzzelli studied Fashion Illustration at the Parson's School of Design before receiving a dual degree in Painting and Art Education at Ohio State University. In addition to Buzzelli's fine art pursuits, she is the proprietress of Show Pony, a performance space and boutique featuring handmade clothing by Buzzelli and a roster of independent designers (opened in 2000). Her fine artwork has been shown at New Image (LA), Rocket Gallery (Tokyo), and Deitch Projects (NY), among others. Her fashion illustration has been published in I-D, Elle, W, Cosmopolitan, Paper, Italian Fashion News and Fashion Illustration Next by Laird Borrelli, among others. Her one-of-a-kind hand-crafted clothing has been featured in photo shoots, films and music videos and worn by celebrities including Lindsay Lohan, Shakira, Jane's Addiction, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nelly Furtado and Jennifer Lopez.