Bohdanna Kesala

Artist Statement:

Over the last decade, my work has focused on color, structure, decay, beauty, and the feminine.  Of these, color and decay have been somewhat fixed and ever present, while organic cellular structures were in constant struggle – or more subtly, in juxtaposition – with synthetic patterns.  With the use of color, depth, and dimension, my past work exhibited a natural – indeed organic – decomposition to reveal both the organic and inorganic code that lies beneath all that exists in the physical world.

My series on paper turns this construct on its head.  Instead of focusing on decomposition and decay, the series focuses on the construction of the physical world.  Instead of decomposition to code, the work reflects the physical world.  The work therefore necessarily deals with creation, growth, and life.  And while this series focuses on the organic, the inorganic is always present.

This ultimately led to my need to further explore the feminine component in my work.  I looked for one pattern to represent femininity and found it in lace.  Lace means different things to different people.  The meaning of lace can change depending on context, style, color, or material.   Lace in one form and/or context may conjure images and feelings on one end of the spectrum – for example, innocence, virginity, and purity such as when used in a christening gown – to the other end of the spectrum – for example, promiscuity, immorality, and sexuality when used in lingerie.  Lace can also be used to communicate a position of seniority and respect, such as the collar on a female judge’s robe.  All the while, regardless of context, lace represents the feminine and the different stages a woman goes through in her life.  In my current paintings I am representing this idea of the feminine code and pattern in an abstract way, trying to evoke these ideas, feelings, and symbols within the viewer.

-Bohdanna Kesala