Sinkhole in the Snowyscape, 2023, Oil and Oil Stick on Canvas, 36 x 48 inches
This painting started out as a portrait of the swordsman in Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. I was not capturing him quite as I wished, so turned the portrait on its side and painted over the face. A landscape emerged in which I saw an entrance to the lower depths, and I ran with it. For me. the final painting still has an oblique reference to The Seven Samurai; the mountain in the back reminds me of the Samurai burial mounds in the film.
Sandra Koponen (b. 1961) is a visual artist with a background in music (sax, composition), photography/film/videography and writing. Though she was around the NYC downtown art scene of the 1980s, living in squats and playing sax, she only began oil painting in 2012. She first exhibited in 2013, and in 2015 her painting “We Can’t Breathe” was one of the few to receive mention in The New York Times’ cover story about Smack Mellon’s Respond show, which showcased over 700 artists’ work around the police murder of Eric Garner. She later received mention in Vice News and other publications for her Voodoo Trump statue in the Nasty Women show in Bushwick and for her Nail-a-thon (a participatory public performance in the East Village of NYC). In 2017, she had her first solo show of abstract landscapes, Transmogrified Weather, at SLA Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. (SLA founders now run Undercurrent in DUMBO NYC.) Since then, she has worked on some private commissions and multi-media installations for two benefits at a sculpture park, while continuing her painting practice and contributing work to protest art shows. While a portion of Koponen’s artwork has been politically themed and addressed topical issues, her primary objective is to explore abstraction of imagery from dreams and memory.
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