Today I have the pleasure of presenting artist Kimia Kline, whose beautiful paintings I’ve discovered only recently, but which immediatly captured my eye and interest and gave me the impulse to approach Kimia to share her insights on her wonderful work. Kimia’s paintings have been exhibited in the US and all over the world, they have been published in numerous art and literary magazines and have won international acclaim in various art competitions. Her portofolio includes oil, watercolour and ink paintings, as well as drawings: “I love them all because each medium has its own strengths and weaknesses.”
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, and currently living in Chennai, India, Kimia has travelled the world and lived in many countries like Israel, Japan, Ecuador and Costa Rica, each of them indelibly influencing her paintings in so many different ways: “Japan has definitely been the place that’s influenced my aesthetics the most. Living there was an incredible education in design, balance, and beauty.”
Kimia has an amazing sense of style and design, she sees the fashion world as one of the greatest inspirations for her work, towards it she feels “a simultaneous adoration and criticism” that she tries to capture in her paintings:
My paintings are inspired by the beauty and ugliness that exist in the fashion world/media. In most fashion ads we see women that look the exact same in terms of skin color and body type, and we are taught that this is the “ideal” image of female beauty. 95% of the time we see models that represent only 5% of what humanity looks like, and this phenomenon is kind of insane when you think about it. What was most interesting to me about living in so many different countries is that in every single country, the women wanted to look like white, Caucasian models. In India there is a cream called “fair and lovely” that bleaches your skin to make it lighter. And in the States we see rampant rates of eating disorders affecting young girls as early as age 8 and 9. Women (and men) around the world are experiencing global brainwashing in regards to beauty, and as a Persian woman that does not fit into the “ideal”, I find this really disturbing and wish more people would wake up and notice what was going on. In many ways I guess you could say the frustration I feel towards popular notions of beauty inspires my work.
About the painters, artists, people who influence her work:
The artists that influence me are constantly changing, but currently I’m loving Dasha Shishkin, Natalie Frank, Marlene Dumas, Vanessa Beecroft, and Fairfield Porter.
Kimia is also a film maker. As the huge film lover that I am I had to ask her to tell me a little more about her film projects:
The film project I’m most proud of is a short documentary I did on my family’s escape from Iran in the early 1980s when the Revolution took place. We are members of the Baha’i Faith, which is the largest religious minority of Iran and is unfortunately heavily persecuted there. The piece I made recounts the events leading up to my grandfather’s execution in 1982. It was a really special project for me to undertake because it allowed me to sit down with members of my family and conduct interviews, as well as collaborate with other Iranian artists, musicians, and writers. You can watch it here.
images: courtesy of Kimia Kline