Kohshin Finley | Cultured Magazine
Artist Kohshin Finley Is Known for His Intimate Portraits. Now, He’s Turning to Clay.
Kohshin Finley’s portraiture offers a pinhole glimpse into his world. Family members and friends rendered in shadowy, stirring greyscale hold the viewer’s gaze. These monumental yet intimate close-ups of loved ones have earned Finley considerable acclaim: his work has appeared in group shows at Jeffrey Deitch and the California African American Museum and one of his portraits was acquired last year by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “It’s wonderful to have a place nearby that you can traverse through history in such a way,” the Los Angeles native says of his childhood pilgrimages to LACMA. “To have a portrait of my friends be added to that chain of history is a beautiful thing.”
Now, the 34-year-old artist is making his international debut with a solo show at Barbati in Venice, which opened on Sept. 9. “Hummingbird” features an array of new portraits and doubles as a chance for Finley to publicly display a rediscovered passion: ceramics. The artist’s pottery, lathered in layers of paint, celebrates the rawness of material, maintaining the intimacy that Finley strives for in his paintings. To mark the opening of “Hummingbird,” Finley sat down with CULTURED for a conversation about process, branching into new mediums, and going “full sponge.”
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