“Miss Elizabeth Giraffe”
Acrylic and oil on birch plywood
Image: 24" x 36"
Canvas-lined vintage, carved, wood frame
Frame: 32" x 44"
October 2, 2020
Virtual Zoom Party 7pm EST Meet the artist in the studio
Virtual Preview: Monday September 28th Time: 11am Central Time
Cordial Creature Portraits Show Statement:
Combining animals with portraits of the past, Cassandra attempts to capture the quirky personalities of her curious subjects. In doing so, she invites the viewer into her unspoken dialog with these very real creatures. Perhaps you could invite one of these animals over for a cup of tea and it would be an afternoon of lively conversation and comfortable elegance. While pondering how a shoulder-less snake would wear a coat or what thought process a pig has when selecting a wig, Cassandra hopes to bring a smile to the viewer’s face.
Cassandra Kim is a contemporary artist whose paintings reflect a lifelong love of animals and traditional art. Inspired by the master painters of the past and she seeks to put her own slightly absurd twist on art by replacing animals with people. She is a Virginia native and 2003 BFA Illustration graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University, and worked as a muralist and graphic artist for Trader Joes for 15 years. In 2013, the Klondike Gold Rush National Park and Chilkoot Historical Site awarded Cassandra with an artist residency. In 2018 she turned her focus on to her personal art full-time, while raising precocious twin girls with her husband.
By taking portraits from the past and replacing the people with animals I seek to have my audience reconnect with the traditions of portraiture, spanning the centuries between the original and today. Juxtaposing an unexpected animal with the upper echelon of past society creates a visual paradox that inadvertently “humanizes” the portraiture, and often makes people smile. Implementing humor is essential in breaking down barriers.
I paint my portraits in acrylic and oil and work to reproduce the rich, lush colors reminiscent of classical portraiture. Each of my hand-chosen vintage or antique frames is a talisman to an imagined memory and provides inspiration and direction for the painting. The frame guides my research for the appropriate portrait as it creates the impression of an art movement or time period. The portraits then inspire brainstorming for the right animal to create the perfect portrait for each frame. The final product allows the audience to feel content as they reconnect with classic portraiture. They feel included, amused, and ultimately curious.