A Neko Tribute to Audrey Kawasaki
What happens when a couple of Nekos find a Japanese artist that completely captivates their imagination?
I’m not sure if “cosplay” applies to works of art, but the challenge was irresistible. Please accept our humble tribute to the distinctive talent of Audrey Kawasaki.
As described in an interview by MacTribe Magazine, “painter and illustrator Audrey Kawasaki is known for ethereal oil-on-wood paintings of women and girls that look more like watercolor than oil. With graceful curves and haunting porcelain doll faces, her figures are simultaneously vulnerable and seductive.”
Though this delicate combination may have disturbed her art professors (who told her to stop, and “never work like that again,”) luckily for all of us, Audrey didn’t listen. Her very first painting (pictured below) in what has since become her own unique style gave her such a “huge spark in her heart,” that she left her New York art school after only two years, recognizing that the standards for ‘fine art’ were too inaccessible and high class for her taste.
So who is Audrey Kawasaki? The daughter of two Japanese immigrants who met in Southern California, gave birth to a daughter in 1982, and from that moment on, instilled in her an equal appreciation of her Japanese heritage and innate artistic talent as she grew up in the heart of Los Angeles.
Where does Audrey draw her inspiration? “I learned from Japanese manga comics actually. I wanted to be a manga artist. Girls with big dreamy, twinkling eyes, and cheesy girly drama.”
What other artists does she admire? James Jean, Sam Weber, Esao Andrews, Jonathan Weiner (Viner), and Japanese artists including Aya Kato, Hideaki Kawashima, Fuco Ueda, and Katsuya Terada (no specific website found, but google will bring you to a lot of random art and sites).
Like most artists, Audrey is her own worst critic. “During painting, I have a few moments when the piece starts to come together, and there’s this feeling of satisfaction and all. But in the end I always feel that I can do better. I have to stop somewhere though, so when I decided it’s ok to finish, it’s done! I rarely go back.”
Which is quite the opposite of her two Neko admirers, who can’t stop going back to look for more.
Update January 2012: read her interview in Juxtapoz magazine, as posted on Audrey’s LiveJournal page.
My Audrey-Style Avatar:
Note: if you want to keep your own skin, you can get the “parted lips” look by adding a tattoo layer from Tuli.
More About Audrey:
Visit her website here.
Read an interesting interview here.
View her latest works from the “Restlessly Still” show, now on display from July 30 through August 27 at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles
Inspiration, modeling encouragement, and Second Life photography by the equally talented Bobby Yoshikawa <3***
© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life 2011