Introduction by Krysia Jopek
In the summer of 2017, I had the privilege of seeing Kim (Howlett) Papa’s paintings for the first time. It was love at first sight, and I chose three of her paintings to be featured in the Fall 2017 issue of Diaphanous.
I’m drawn to her work because she paints poetry—combines sculpture with music and air; calligraphy, visual syntax, and aesthetic vocabulary; architectural space, emotional and psychological reality, and the unit of brushstroke.
I continue to be impressed by her paintings that embody her creative process. She is first-rate. Her paintings are a gift to viewers. Please enjoy eighteen of her works of art followed by her Artist Statement and bio.
Congratulations, Kim, on this amazing virtual show!
June 29, 2018
Kim’s philosophy of composition is to abstract a concept to the lowest denominator and reintroduce key images or strokes whose repetition expand upon the image. Much of her work is black and white, which she attributes to her Korean heritage—not as a conscious choice, but rather a genetic outcome. Hangul, the Korean alphabet is comprised of lines and circles; an either or; a yes or no. Kim’s art takes that and allows for variation; insists that lines are organic and circles are not static. Color is added sparingly more as punctuation.
Her art is conceptual. She began painting two years ago when it became clear to her that it was necessary to take that which she had secreted away so carefully would crumble and disappear – that she would disappear if not expressed.
Kim’s favorite artists are Henry Moore, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Franz Kline, Cy Twombly, Jackson Pollock, Joan Mitchell, William De Kooning, David Mankin, Struan Teague, Arshile Gorky, Gerhard Richter, Bernd Harke, Rothko, Kokichi Umezaki, Kitty Sabtier, Somluk Pantiboon, and Northwest Coast Indian art.
Kim is currently working on creating a collection of symbolic scars, which will generate into masks. It is her hope that the series will speak to a larger group of people that have survived major trauma.
Kim Papa was born in Long Beach, CA, lived in southern California for most of her life and moved to the northern part of the state 35 years ago. She lives with her husband Joe and two cats. She is the mother of two children, has four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
She has held various jobs ranging from work in a bakery, a bank, a computer company and was a graphic designer for two different state agencies. She now works for a state agency that manages diverse fish, wildlife and plant resources as well as the habitats they are dependent upon.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Anthropology. She has an insatiable curiosity for language, writing systems, symbolism and masks that she used as the basis of a class she designed and taught at a northern California university.
Kim’s paintings are available for sale. If interested, email her at: [email protected]