I recently (well, six months ago) checked out the work of Misaki Kawai, a Brooklyn-based artist with cheeky, off-the-wall installations and paintings. "Tiger Punch," her first solo show, was held at the Clementine Gallery in New York. It involved wall and floor installations of painted objects and works on paper.
Upon arriving at the space, I was instantly among a variety of brightly-colored kooky characters. Kawai creates a world of quirky cartoons with a child-like drawing style and whimsical approach to her subject. She constructs her works with handmade objects into an environment full of color, playfulness, humor and wit. Working from everyday materials like cardboard, paper, yarn, cottonballs, fabric, and glue, Kawai crafts what I like to call "wall-mounted, 3-D collage." Her narrative invites you into a world where spiders kiss instead of bite, birds hang out on a toilet, people burst through walls, giant waves are surfed by three people simultaneously, and farts and explosions go hand in hand. It’s a cute and comical dreamscape drawn with a mastery of the skillfully unskilled aesthetic.
Misaki Kawai’s work has also been featured at the Greater New York Show ’05, at PS1 MOMA in NYC, and in a two-person exhibition at the Watari Museum in Tokyo, Japan. She recently had a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA.