Cassandra Kim is a Virginia native and 2003 BFA Illustration graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University. As a child, Cassandra was a voracious reader - devouring books as quickly as they could fuel her imagination. It taught her that animals could invite her to tea or take her on a wild car ride. Perhaps her passion for reading could only be rivaled for her love of art. Certainly her regular visits to museums and art galleries developed her love and admiration of the old masters. As she began to paint, it was only natural she would gravitate towards blending her two loves. Working with acrylic and oil on canvas or masonite, Cassandra paintings seek to invoke the grandeur and color of past works while introducing the public to her own sense of twisted whimsy and wonder.
Working as a muralist and graphic artist for Trader Joes for 15 years, she further developed her professionalism and style. In 2013, the Klondike Gold Rush National Park and Chilkoot Historical Site awarded Cassandra with an artist residency to capture the beauty of the park and share her impressions of the trail through her images and experiences. Today, her personal works continue to reflect her love of nature, imagination, and respect for the old masters of her medium.
Seemingly like works of art acquired from an alternative universe, these works add elements of levity, curiosity, and whimsy to classic portraiture. Our society is living in stressful times, and these paintings aim to provide a break from that stress. The simple subject matter make them accessible to all. Everyone is familiar with classic portraits - the lush, rich oil paints, jewel tones, and even the mysterious expressions that cause us to pause and reflect on who those people might have been. I am continuing the tradition of using art from the past as inspiration for new works, much as Romans artists were profoundly influenced by Greek pieces of art. The twist is that the faces of people are replaced with those of animals, revealing the shared ability of all species to show so much emotion through their faces, especially through their eyes. It has proven critically important for me to match the right animal or insect with the most appropriate painting in order to create a unique persona and painting.
All the paintings are created with a mix of acrylic and oil paint on masonite or canvas. They are framed in antique or vintage ornate frames, to add to the old world feel.