Week 17: Artist Interview – Yireh Elaine Kwak

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Do you sell your paintings?

I asked Kwak if she sold her paintings. She responded that she did sell them to make some money on the side. However she she said that she does not do it very often and therefore has not established prices for them. However, she added that generally her smaller paintings sell for about $500 and larger ones for about $1000.

Are you close with the other artists in the gallery?

Noticing that the gallery consisted of the works of many different artists, I asked Kwak if she was close to them. She answered that she is close with the others artists. She explained that she has been good friends with the other artists for 4 years, and that together they form a special community that has grown together artistically. The gallery itself, she said, shows their journey together as friends and artists.

How would you explain your painting, Home? 

Intrigued by her painting, titled Home, that showed a shrubbery and vast mountains in the landscape, I asked her how she would explain the painting in terms of meaning and general aesthetics. She answered that the painting is of her old backyard in her Fullerton home. She noted that many aspects of the painting are exaggerated because she mainly paints from memory. She followed this up saying that she titled the piece Home based on the idea that a house is the place while home is the people. In terms of her style, she said that she is greatly inspired by Vincent Van Gogh.

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Analysis

I found Kwak’s painting, and the whole gallery itself, to be very insightful and inspirational. I particularly enjoyed the sense of camaraderie reflected in the gallery and the paintings in it. It showed that the world of art is vast and filled with different styles and appearances. In addition, it also showed me that art is always changing, as shown by the nuance of some paintings, and the sentimentality and aged feel of other paintings. I enjoyed this gallery and Kwak’s piece Home very much.

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