Kim DeJesus on Connection and Self Discovery through The Map Home Exhibition

Los Angeles artist Kim DeJesus makes her way to New York with her latest collection of colorful washes on canvas at Morris Adjmi Architects’ showroom in a solo exhibition “The Map Home.

Installation View of The Map Home

Los Angeles artist Kim DeJesus makes her way to New York with her latest collection of colorful washes on canvas at Morris Adjmi Architects’ showroom in a solo exhibition “The Map Home." A continuation of her exploration into memory and the dichotomy between controllable and uncontrollable gestures, this series of paintings delves deep into the essence of human experience.

DeJesus's paintings unfold through an interplay of additive and subtractive gestures, each stroke revealing the tension between conscious control and the unpredictability in creating. Her distinctive process entails accidents that are not mistakes but rather serendipitous discoveries that foster an ongoing dialogue between herself, the material, and the canvas.

Within "The Map Home," DeJesus's expressive use of colorful washes introduces an element of spontaneity, a dynamic force that stands in stark contrast to the intentional overlay of marks and added materials. The canvas becomes a battlefield where fields of color are manipulated to move, reflecting the constant flux of life's intricacies. Yet, within that, complete control remains elusive, highlighting the ever-present uncertainty.

artcurrently catches up with the artist to discuss the new works in a Q+A. “The Map Home” is on view through April 19, 2024.

Q. The spontaneity behind your work almost feels meditative. Do you recall the first time you were exposed to art?

A. The meditative essence of my process is rooted in moments of introspection and emotional exploration. At a young age, I was naturally drawn to most art forms. However a significant moment from my childhood was when I drew a detailed portrait of my sister around the age of 12. It was subtle, but my relationship to that drawing made me think about art in a different way. As I continued to make art, I found a pathway towards abstraction that connects to this meditative nature.

Q. This new series entails losing yourself or a loved one in order to find yourself. What is the difference, if there is, of this body of work versus others or previous ones as far as process?

A. In the "Map Home", I explore themes of self-discovery on a personal level and my ongoing exploration of memories and connections. This series marks a natural progression in my paintings, building upon the foundation laid by previous works. While my earlier work often emphasized the purity of the canvas, and intricately sewn elements, the "Map Home" expands upon my process of layering by incorporating a vibrant palette with deep stains. My practice has also evolved into a more ritualistic process, which has more of an energetic contribution than something tangible.

Q. What are three essential things you need in your studio at all times?

A. In my studio, my portable speakers are a must for setting the right vibes. My notebooks capture ideas and serve as helpful references. And when I need a recharge, you'll catch me meditating or bird-watching outside to stay grounded in the beauty of the present moment!

Q. How long did this particular series take for you to make?

A. Creating this series took about a year and a half to two years. I typically work on multiple pieces simultaneously, and each painting has its own story. Some pieces evolve more quickly than others, while some demand more time.

Left: The Shadow, 2022 Acrylic, oil, drawing material on canvas. Courtesy the artist Right: Image by Heather Rasmussen