My watercolors are part of an ongoing series depicting sitcom characters from the 1970s and 80s. They highlight the archetypal, quirky characters mythologized through syndication. For me, the medium of watercolor is extremely nostalgic and sentimental. In using this medium in its loosest, most watery form to depict fictional characters, my intent is to examine issues of portrayal vs. portraiture.
My series of drawings titled, "The Company You Keep" reference Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, the archetypal nature show I watched every Sunday evening as a kid in which Marlin Perkins sends Jim Fowler to study animal behavior in particularly dramatic made-for-TV ways. The show first struck me as an odd advertising mechanism for insurance. I found many of their slogans simplistic and hilarious, especially in light of the state of the US healthcare system. By viewing this particular show as a time capsule reflecting the mentality of the era in which it was created, the drawings have evolved into a meditation on: the application of science to investigate mysteries of the natural world, the use of language to elevate the importance of a project, having the best intentions but being unable to foresee unintended consequences, and above all, Man’s classic literary struggle with Nature.
Artist Bio / CV
Kelly Inouye is a San Francisco based artist. Her work documents some of the more obscure aspects of popular culture, playing with the idea of collective memory through appropriation and manipulation of familiar imagery. She earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2008 and a BA from the University of California at San Diego in La Jolla in 1998. In the Bay Area her work has been shown at Southern Exposure, Frey Norris Contemporary and Modern, and Root Division. Nationally, by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York. Her work has also been featured in New American Paintings.