NEW BLOG AND WEBSITE DETAILS!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 6, 2015 by Kimberly Cooper Nichols

I want to thank all of my readers of this blog over the last few years. I am moving it over to Tumblr now, which is visually more appealing to me and allows for more interesting community.

I appreciate my subscribers for their support.

Please come join me at:

http://your-kimberlynichols-love.tumblr.com

Also, my new art and writing website is up!

http://www.kimberlynicholsstudio.com

Thank you!

Kimberly

Weave Points: Elation, Explosion and Expansion

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2015 by Kimberly Cooper Nichols

IMG_9484-1021x1024I am currently absorbed in a piece about the unchanging elements that make up the perpetual cycle of relationship: elation, explosion and expansion. I love poking holes in the cardboard. I realize that I am poking holes that may not be filled with yarn but may allow the viewer to see a little bit of light coming from the backside. Some holes may be filled with string, little flimsy bits. The idea is to show matter exploding from intense emotion—the intense emotion that disturbs an assumed or familiar calm that stems from the original bliss point of a new relationship. The first time this happens, it is devastating. But as the cycle repeats in relationship eternally, one understands that explosions are necessary to jostle the matter and that new matter eventually forms and that this trinity is necessary to keep a relationship growing and fresh—non static. My studio work takes place in my domestic setting, squeezed in among life with my partner. There is something in that—something about being a woman and the traditional roles of women, where we have to shove things in between other things to get them done. I am not necessarily in a traditional role as a female or an artist. I am not domestic. I work in a small-contained office or sprawled around the house. My life is my studio. I also like working on the couch with my thimble as if in matron mode darning a sock. This Betsy-Ross metaphor is new to me but I realize that much of what I am doing now is trying to express emotion and the human condition by patch-working together the raw materials that are available to me within the current limitations of my life: cardboard that is readily available from household purchases, yarn and sewing tools, fabrics that I have compiled that represent color, bits of built up paint from palette bowls—accessible items that stem from my need to create while fiscally lean and my desire to use primal, rudimentary, naïve elements in conjunction with my self-schooled voice. Ironic that I am going backwards into found substances and cast offs as I grow sophisticated in my concepts. There is no competition for resources but only the opportunities to give birth to ideas.

Inspirations and Influences: Van Gogh’s Blues

Posted in Inspirations and Influences with tags , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2014 by Kimberly Cooper Nichols

 

Van Gogh Night Cafe

  The Night Cafe in the Place Lamartine in Arles, by Vincent Van Gogh. Oil on canvas. 70 x 89cm.  Painted in Arles, September, 1888. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery.  It is thought that this painting was created and offered as a rent payment by
Van Gogh to the owner of this cafe.

 

Neither of us like being amongst throngs of people, which is why we arrive at LACMA at ten a.m. on a Saturday for the Van Gogh to Kandinsky exhibition. First in line and groggy from the pool-playing marathon the night before, we are scrolling through my iPhone looking for my second favorite Van Gogh of all time. I spent a summer in New Haven in my late 20s with a boyfriend who was as an adjunct architecture professor at Yale. Many of my days were spent roaming the streets with my ten-year-old daughter looking for a good slice of white clam pizza, books from the secondhand stores and New Englander wool and tweed cast off skirts from the thrift shops. Not a day passed without my post-lunch visit to the University Art Gallery to steal a glimpse of The Night Café in Place Lamartine in Arles. The billiard table sliding down a wood slat floor, the yellow schizoid reverberations off the lamps, and that signature variation on teal blue green that creamily swathed the ceiling presented me with a surreal sense of calm during a summer I was miles from home.

 

Van-Gogh-Self-Portrait

 Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait,” 1889, on Loan from the National Gallery of Art, Washington » Norton Simon Museum

 


My first favorite Van Gogh was spotted two Christmases ago when the Norton Simon museum imported it for the holidays. In person, the eerie strips and dashes of blue on the face reminded me of the underpinnings of things—cold veins in a vampire’s skin, the dry astringency of nervous disorders, arteries striving to burst out of a coolly, composed societal façade. The fact that the piece was a self-portrait of the artist made all of these associations seem ever more poignant.

 

poplars

  The Poplars at Saint-Rémy (Les peupliers sur la Colline), Vincent van Gogh, 1889, Oil on fabric.
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Bequest of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. (1958.32). Photo © The Cleveland Museum of Art

 

Another perk of not liking to be around lots of people and getting to museums early, right when they open, is that we are able to beat the masses squeezing into to look at once towards four square feet of wall at a time. When we enter the LACMA exhibition we are first with only a few others around us. So when we come to what is now my third favorite Van Gogh of all time, The Poplars at Saint-Remy and we both take in a simultaneous and audible rush of breath as if we we’ve both been punched in the gut and accidentally say the word “Fuck” – it’s okay because there is no one around to hear us. We agree that it is perfect with its lush olive greens and chalk whites and indigo shadows and the house squeezed between the trees as if melting into the landscape that no one else would have been able to pull off. I am overwhelmed by the growing bubble of yellow bliss inside my belly that blooms and threatens to inflate, internally pop and lift the top of my head right off.

I have come to realize how much of my love of Van Gogh lies in his resonating blues, both literal and emotionally metaphorical; his fragmented perspective of reality that by slashing it into brushstroke sized pieces actually reveals the fact that we are all cut from the same molecular matter; and his all inclusive planes that expose the inherent connection of all.

 

 

 

Hermit Brotherhood of Artists

Posted in On Being an Artist with tags , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2013 by Kimberly Cooper Nichols

TheHermaphroditeForrest Bess, The Hermaphrodite, Oil on Canvas

I fell in love with the Forrest Bess show at The Hammer Museum recently and so I wrote about it for the progressive Italian art magazine Droste. I was at the Hammer for their annual gala and while most of the guests were staring at Jody Foster (at the adjacent table to me), Will Ferrell, Rita Wilson and Maria Bello, I was obsessing over the exhibition of Bess’ work that I had just seen during the cocktail portion of the event. Weird little paintings reflecting a rich inner world untainted by socializing in modern society in the ’60s and ’70s – paintings born from a self-inflicted hermitude and consistent interaction with the soul and the images that take place behind the eyelids that are completely clear to those who strive to seek them out. Images born in the purity of silence where the ego gets accustomed to turning off because it doesn’t think anyone is looking or listening. It brought up connections to other sisters and brothers who have eschewed polite modernity for the internal caverns of their artistry like JD Salinger, stunted from the horrors of war and his beliefs that adults were all unbearably tainted, or Richard Tuttle in the desert with his nail, hammer, wood and string. In my fortieth year, this way of life has become highly appealing to me: being alone with my paper and pencil, my keyboard and prose, my scroll saw and wood block, and a handful of friends and family I can count on two hands. Creating my own world and seeing things like the corner potato tree rather than integrating with the current world and being seen has slowly over the course of this past year taken over me. My love for humanity is still there yet my lust for material and creation has usurped my faith that I can ever, or even want to, change people – instead I articulate my hope through my work. which is the only thing that has ever continuously sustained me.

Naked in Front of Strangers #4

Posted in Published Works with tags , , on May 20, 2013 by Kimberly Cooper Nichols

Now published at 3 AM MAGAZINE.

Daily Bread: On Being Injured

Posted in Daily Bread with tags , , on May 16, 2013 by Kimberly Cooper Nichols

Strata Painting Study, Abandoned Sylmar Dam, May 2013Strata Study: Abandoned Dam in Sylmar, California, May 2013

1.
Being injured forces a freezing not customary to my bones. A chunk of flesh missing, a gash of time hijacked for silent revelation and profound introductions to sun play on curtains.

2.
A female punk rock singer friend asks me if I think the people who, after moving fifty miles an hour alongside her, suddenly ignore her fervent and intelligent email correspondence have somehow googled her and are now completely afraid of further exchange. I tell her I have wondered the same thing recently about people who think of me less than favorably. Ironically, we are both relieved to have this modern day weeding system in place – saves time, especially since we are now in our forties.

3.
Speaking of that, the neighbor is out at midnight picking feces of dogs off her sidewalk and tells me that it’s prime time in my life for all the backtalk to stop. That stuff in the brain that goes on around pleasing everybody – it simply can now be switched off. So, I mentally flick it.

4.
I am moving soon so I eat pate and apricots in my undressed bed like the women in Gray Gardens just for the hell of it.

5.
Being injured allows one to feel earthquakes in three-dimensional fragility times seven and we’ve averaged one every other day through the course of my mandated bed rest.

6.
I’m a fervent believer that world stress might decrease exponentially if people made a point to stroll along the ocean each morning.

7.
A psychologist mentor of mine writes: if you know a writer, you should know that as their friend, you’re going to show up in their stories. I will consider this statement an instant disclaimer to all the humans in my life.

8.
The sound of helicopters, specifically those circling around your specific residence to hunt any number of erroneous beings, is a staple to the daily Venice Beach residential soundtrack.

9.
Bourbon and Diet Dr. Pepper with my little brother is an amazing pain reliever.

10.
Being injured reminds you to feel rather than focusing on the treadmill of do. First comes hurt. It dulls to ache. Healing is beckoned with a tickle. A visual scar becomes your only reminder. Until the next time you evolve the unique map of your body.

Small World

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 30, 2013 by Kimberly Cooper Nichols

Small World

My world used to be big and large and contained hardly enough space for me. Today it is honed like a smartly sharp pinpoint where specks dance from things only accessed by deep looking. Like when wood is rent by bench saw to reveal the marvelous last supper of termites within. Material bleached white by the intrusion of predators – the shock noticeable on the skin carrying fantastic new whorls. Disease to one begets the evolution that occurs from dis-ease to another. What was once a fence post now delivers a pattern to an artist – a juxtaposition of young and golden thriving beauty next to a ransacked body – poignant and flayed for new truthful undertakings and a second life as something strikingly beautiful.