Made it up to Seattle and was so stoked to be able to go to the opening reception of Femke Hiemstra's new body of work. Rarely do I see a solo exhibit where every single piece is of top notch caliber.
Her superlative works, currently on view at Roq La Rue in Seattle, fall into every category of excellence possible. The vision, creativity, technique, imagination, originality and presentation - all exceeded expectations and then some. They are smallish, beautifully solid works; so fine was the detail and shading it looked as if it had been painted with a single bristle. In fact, I can't believe she's not blind. Some were painted directly on vintage book covers or game boxes and some were black and white graphite renderings on paper. The imagery is fairy tale in feel, lots of animal characters and fantasy scenarios. Typographic embellishments highlighted a few of the pieces - graceful additions of vintage lettering styles, they wove in and out of the imagery, as only a keen eye for design can accomplish.
|Roq Le Rue interior|
|The beautiful and friendly Femke Hiemstra, love her!|
Femke Hiemstra’s meticulously tight, jewel like mixed media paintings and exquisitely rendered black and white drawings are homes to a dark fairytale land where inanimate objects come to life and frolic with animal neighbors. Lollipops become ship captains, strawberries become giant wrestlers, and vegetables become Halloween gods with lantern eyes. Femke occasionally uses typography in her work, using words from various languages and letters in her paintings to further enhance the narrative while still retaining a playful sense of mystery, or as a visual device to frame in the scenery, as if you were looking at her world through a secret window. She also uses found objects to paint on, such as boxes and wrappers, to create imaginary products with magical properties. In this series she has several paintings on vintage book covers, which are then tantalizingly sealed up in a frame, leaving the viewer to speculate on the full story.