James Kudo

24/Feb/2015 – 21/Mar/2015

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  • Press Release
  • Press Release


    Oxymoron is a figure of speech which harmonizes two opposing concepts while forming a third concept. James Kudo is a creator of oxymorons: in his hand-painted collages the colors are stridently silent, and in the landscapes, sweetly poisonous, everything seems fixed - in the eternity of the moment.

    His work is built on recountals, in which fiction and non-fiction are continually merged. They are imagined memories blurring the line between real and unreal. He recalls and revitalizes narratives, traversing between aesthetic and environmental issues. He saw the dream city of his grandparents submerge in water, leaving a trail of destruction and loss. And there he saw the rise of a new reality, less romantic - yet vibrant. The waters gushing in waterfalls, with sparkling energy. He accumulated fleeting images and collected disconnected memories.

    In the reconstruction of this panel of memories, Kudo pastes together fragments of opposing references. He paints wooden surfaces imitating the coating that mimics the surface itself, creating a double simulacrum. Trees and foliage, subtly drawn, overlap the explosions of citrus, industrial colors, which remain in suspension – in the moment just before the scream. The forest, carefully cut out and pasted onto vigorous bright planes, mimics weapons. Waters and water barrier gates are aligned in hieratic rows of color shades.

    Kudo also creates small paintings, such as coats of arms, in which he establishes a floating balance of the elements which allude to his life experiences: the oppressive presence of the water barrier gates, the crystalline power of water and the affective memory of picnics by the river. And they emerge represented by symbols created by the artist to embody them: solids imitating wood, the gradation of blues, stitched checkered fabrics...

    In the current exhibition, which opens the individual exhibit season of Zipper Gallery, Kudo also features two site-specific pieces, in which the waters trapped in his frames spill out into space.

    Performed with impeccable technical quality, his vibrant and contemporary aesthetics point to the future. Not by chance, the artist was included in the book 100 painters of tomorrow, by Kurt Beers, and Kudo’s participation in ART15 - London was enthusiastically approved by curator Jonathan Watkins.

    Built upon memories, the work Oxymoron by James Kudo is all but nostalgic, and yet it creates unique situations – which invite to enchantment and reflection.


    Denise Mattar

    January 2015

    Critical essay