Kiki Farish

“I have always thought of extremes as being far apart but now realize, and build compositions to express, how extremely close they are,” says Raleigh artist Kiki Farish, a 2014-2015 N.C. Arts Council Fellowship recipient. Farish’s work conjures a dense, yet evanescent, layering of marks, lines, shades, and text often drawing on the natural world for its subject matter yet taking the viewer far beyond. She explains, “Abstraction and realism are woven together … adding and subtracting marks, expressing emotion and suppressing it….Although the works are personal, they are a reaction to the present world culture of polarizing extremes and an invitation to reside in a space where opposites visually cohere.” Looking at her work, one is struck by its deeply meditative, almost self-absorbed quality, but she is always conscious of how the viewer will respond. As Shana Garr, former director of artistic programs at Artspace, observes, “Farish draws with an intimate understanding of space, anticipating how the gaze would enjoy raking over works of art.” That’s a pleasure that’s hard to decline in the presence of her drawings.