Sunday, September 16, 2012

Painting in Beijing

After a little over a month in Shanghai, we took a night train to Beijing.  In Beijing I discovered a beautiful lake near our new apartment, which was filled with lotuses and swans.  This place became an inspiration to me.  The first thing I painted in Beijing was a plein air of a lotus pond.  I made a small painting box out of cardboard, taped my tiny canvas to it, sat on a rock and began painting.
"Lotus," oil on canvas, 4"x 4," 2012

I was also inspired by the swans in the nearby lake.  One day on a walk I noticed swan feathers floating in the water and laying on the dock.  I couldn't get to the feathers, since the dock was fenced off from the walkway, but a few days later I saw the swan keeper down on the dock taking care of the swans.  I didn't speak Chinese and he didn't speak English, so I gestured to a feather on the dock and tried to indicate that I wanted him to pass it up to me.  I had become pretty good at charades by this point, and he eventually understood and passed me up the tiny delicate feather.  I walked home excitedly and immediately began painting it. 

"Swan Feather," oil on canvas, 8"x 8," 2012

"Fallen Feather II," oil on linen, 16"x 16," 2012

Art supplies were incredibly inexpensive and high quality in China and I began painting on these beautiful 16"x 16" square linen surfaces.  I was also taking some time in China, so far away from my regular life, to process some of my life events.  My work began to reflect this introspection, and some of my paintings became allegorical expressions of my journey so far.  I did the painting "Spinning" from my imagination, of me spinning in a sports field.  I was happy with the way it was working out almost immediately, so I put it aside and did a study of the spinning figure.  I intend to do this painting large-scale as one of my thesis paintings at The New York Academy of Art this year.

Spinning," oil on linen, 16"x 16," 2012

"Spinning Figure Study," oil on linen, 16"x 16," 2012

"They're Talking About my Death," oil on linen, 16"x 16," 2012

"Jellyfish," oil on linen, 16"x 16," 2012


Nearing the end of our time in China, we had an exhibition of Chinese and North American artists at the Can Art Center, right in the heart of the 798 gallery district, the main gallery district in Beijing.  We were impressed when we arrived and saw the big sign they had installed, with all of our names on it!  They had also made some lovely fans (which we had already become accustomed to using because it was so hot in China) with the names of all the artists in the show printed on them.  The opening reception was a wonderful evening and the exhibition was a memorable closure to our experience in China.


The artists in the exhibition at Can Art Center in Beijing

Friday, September 14, 2012

Transcultural Practice - The Questioning "Self"(?)

 International curator, PhD researcher and freelance arts writer, Rachel Marsden, has contributed this fantastic article on our exhibition, "老外 - Laowai - Foreigner," which opens at Kraine Gallery in New York this Wednesday, September 19th, 2012.  Here's a selection of her writing.  To read the full article CLICK HERE.

"老外 - Laowai - Foreigner brings together seven artists, four from the New York Academy of Arts (NYAA), New York (USA), and three from China, who engaged in an eleven week ‘Micro Residency of Art’ programme in association with the Fine Art College of Shanghai University, Shanghai (China), and the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing (China)."

"Kristy Gordon embraces self-reflection through intimate portraiture. Situations and identities are frozen through her honest realist yet dream-like surrealist works. A sense of fragility runs through the brush marks, stating a true emotional connectivity with the subject and almost a sense of fear through the process of self-discovery." - Rachel Marsden

For more information, to arrange a private viewing of the exhibition contact:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

China Show Opens in New York Next Week!

I will have three paintings included in an exhibition of work by participants of the China residency opening at Kraine Gallery in New York next week (85 East 4th Street).  The show is entitled "老外 - Laowai - Foreigner," and runs from September 19th through October 19th, 2012.  There will be an opening reception on September 19th from 9pm till 11pm.  The exhibition will be comprised of paintings done by seven of the artists on the residency, four from The New York Academy of Art and three from China.  It has been curated by Cory Dixon, a fellow New York Academy of Art Student and China residency participant.  The show will feature work by Ian Cao, Cory Dixon, Megan Ewert, Nicolas Sanchez, Wang Yi, Huang Zhe and myself.  We all worked and exhibited together in Shanghai and Beijing.  Join us as to see the work that we created from seven thousand miles away!

For more information, to arrange a private viewing, or to set up an interview contact:
"The Departure," oil on linen, 16"x 16," 2012

"Fallen Feather," oil on linen, 16"x 16," 2012

"Untitled," oil on canvas, 16"x 16,"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back From China!

Hi Everyone!  I’m back from China and had a truly amazing time there! I've spent the last two and a half months in Shanghai and Beijing on the China residency program through the New York Academy of Art.  We arrived in Shanghai first, and started painting immediately in our studio in the Fine Art College of Shanghai University.

"Surrender," oil on panel, 9"x6," 2012

"Two Trees," oil on canvas, 8"x8," 2012

I never know how a residency will influence my work and it can be a bit stressful when I first arrive in a foreign city if I put too much pressure on myself right away. Just before leaving for China I was told about animal spirit guides and that if you just remain open to it, they will gradually reveal themselves to you.  That night I had a dream about meeting my dolphin animal spirit guides, which to me represented joy.  Just a week later I was getting off the plane in Shanghai and the first thing I saw was a huge poster of dolphins.  I continued to see dolphins everywhere, as fountain sculptures, in advertisement posters, even as inflatable dolphins sitting around in the grocery store.  I decided immediately to buy one of these inflatable dolphins and to paint it.  I did a couple self-portraits in my early days in Shanghai with my inflatable dolphin animal spirit guide lingering around behind me.

"Self-Portrait with Animal Spirit Guide," oil on panel, 6"X 9," 2012

"Head Above Water," oil on panel, 9"x6," 2012

I also became more and more inspired by all the mist in China.  It seemed there were always billows of mist sitting in the mountains in China, and the air was always damp and foggy.  I did “Seeing Myself Through the Fog of Misperception,” in the mirror in my bedroom in Shanghai, using a really limited palette consisting of only Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Titanium White and Mars Black.  I tried to make it appear as though I was being veiled by a subtle cloud of mist.

"Seeing Myself Through the Fog of Misperception," oil on linen, 12"x 12," 2012

Nearing the end of our time in Shanghai we had a group exhibition at the Shanghai 99 Art Center located right in the heart of the Shanghai gallery district.  The show was entitled ‘Mutual Interests” and included work by Wang Chong, Harvey Citron, Cory Dixon, Megan Ewert, Laura Frazure, John Jacobsmeyer, Nicholas Sanchez, Cao Yi and Wang Yi.  I was impressed by the large exhibition space and honoured to have my work exhibited with so many other great artists, both from The New York Academy of Art and from China.

The invitation to our exhibition in Shanghai