Opening: Saturday, October 1 from 7pm to 9pm
Artist talk with Kanchan Balsé – Sunday Oct.30 at 1pm
Rhizome DC is proud to announce the opening of concurrent exhibits by four exciting local artists on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at 7pm. Current DCAC Sparkplug artist Kanchan Balsé presents new paintings that manage close intimacy while making bold demands on our attention to social forces that shape our lives. A member of Rhizome’s inaugural Community Supported Art cohort, multimedia artist Lucas J Rougeux employs myriad manifestations of light in his meditations on existential questions and dilemmas. Corcoran grad Nami Oshiro takes inspiration from her Okinawan heritage in portraying absurdist musings on questions of identity. Recently arrived from France, Adrien Picquenot uses a muted palette and incredibly soft brushstokes to evoke pensive expressionist moods. Together, the work by these four dynamic local artists will draw viewers in for deserved and needed moments of stillness, reflection, and appreciation.
“My paintings are intimate stories about relationships and boundaries at home and in communities and evoke questions about the transient and often ambiguous nature of relational, geographical and political lines.
I use personal iconography from my Indian and European ancestry to communicate ideas about identity, resilience, cultural preservation and mental health.
After beginning with transparent acrylic ink washes and drips, I build texture and detail with opaque acrylic paint, allowing my subconscious and impulse to guide the composition and imagery. I gradually exert more control, rearranging colors and shapes within emerging landscapes while experimenting with scale, plane, and heavy layering. I reveal moments from the past and bring them into the present by removing wet and dry paint and choosing what to highlight or cover with fresh color. My process mimics the perpetual editing of personal narratives as new experiences influence thoughts and memories”.
After the birth of her first child, Kanchan Balsé began painting to channel intense postpartum feelings and to contest the unrealistic and harmful expectations society places on mothers. Blending figurative and abstract elements, she works intuitively to create images that challenge romanticized depictions of family life and society.
Kanchan is a multimedia artist, curriculum developer and educator working out of Red Dirt Studio in Mt. Rainier, MD. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from The New School for Social Research and has shown her work in solo and group shows in the DC area including Studio Gallery, Dumbarton Concert Gallery, and doris-mae.
Lucas J Rougeux
“I am a cloud of space dust. I am a collection of particles dealing with depression. I am weaving through waves of space-time and isolation. My work is the product of this existentialism, loneliness, and search for a connection to the sublime. I see cosmic phenomena as a reflection of humanity in its grounded experiences and heaven-ward musings. Through minimal and concise abstraction, my work highlights the fear and curiosity of the unknown, the pain and clarity of silence, and the delicate and fluctuating nature of states of being.
I am a light-bringer. Light is my muse; intangible, radiant, and divine. Materials such as mirrors, glass, spray paint, charcoal and paper seek to capture this immateriality. My process gently builds value, pulling light, form, and symbol from black voids. These works use drawing techniques in the mark making. Charcoal is delicately accumulated on paper while spray paint is subtracted away from glass mirrors to reveal ambient light.
My practice is religious, meditative, and psycho-therapeutic; finding spirituality in physics and science in the divine. Celestial bodies and astrophysical phenomena such as black holes and nebula become both symbols of faith and representations of emotional and mental struggles.”
Lucas J Rougeux
Born in Niagara Falls, NY in 1995, is a queer multimedia artist currently living and working in Washington DC. He acquired a Bachelor of Arts in 2017 at Alfred University with a focus in interdisciplinary art. Lucas has exhibited in galleries in New York, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, and California. His work has been published in various zines, art publications, and virtual exhibitions. Through his practice, Lucas explores themes of sexuality, queerness, spirituality, astrophysics, and the intangible unknown. His work has been inspired by astrophysics, light, sensation of the body, the queerness of identity, religion, and poetry. True to his interdisciplinary education, Lucas utilizes a multitude of media including oil and watercolor paint, ink, charcoal and graphite, spray paint, performance art, installation sculpture, textiles, and printmaking.
“My art depicts surrealist scenes of characters with unique experiences related to identity, be it from race, gender, or neurodiversity. Growing up in a doomsday cult – in which I prayed every day for Armageddon to wipe out the world’s evils – gave me a lot of cognitive dissonance, which developed into an overblown sense of the absurdity of everyday life and its resulting neuroses. Everything I draw and how I draw it is informed by this absurdity.
My style is influenced by my Okinawan-Japanese background, especially by movements like ukiyo-e or shin hanga, featuring flat colors, stilted perspectives, and glorification of the human body. When I work in color, I try to infuse a sense of Okinawan flavor through bright, garish palettes like one might see in bingata textiles, which capture the indigenous Okinawan spirit of brazenness.
I’m also inspired by 19th and early 20th-century illustrators like Edmund Dulac and Aubrey Beardsley. The Golden Age of Illustration and shin hanga, both estuaries of eastern and western influences, are movements that resonate with my identity as part of the Okinawan-American diaspora.
All my work is hand-drawn, even pieces colored digitally, which helps me feel connected to what I make.”
Oshiro is an artist based in the Washington DC-Metro area. She makes drawings, paintings, and comics. Her work plays with absurdities experienced by people with unique relationships with societal constructs like race and gender. Viewers have described her art as “trippy,” “unsettling,” “nihilistic,” and “very upsetting to my friend Daniel.” She was born to Okinawan parents in California, was raised in Florida and Virginia, and now works in Washington DC. She went to the Corcoran College of Art + Design, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Fine Art in 2012. After a decade-long hiatus from the arts community, Oshiro began exhibiting her work again throughout the East Coast in 2022.
Expressions: paintings by Adrien Picquenot, plus installation by Adrien Picquenot in collaboration with Christine Paluch and Ariana Peck
“Writing a statement for this specific part of my artistic production is a difficult exercise. The paintings forming the EXPRESSIONS series present a consistent whole in spite, rather than because of me, in the sense that they reflect certain obsessions and a certain way to look at things that I wouldn’t have chosen to display in public otherwise. I do not intend to consciously state anything with these paintings; but my work, together with my love for German and Austrian expressionist painters from the early XXth century, expose my fascination for this peculiar beauty that art can bring forth from loss, grief, and the other hardships of life. The stillness of the painted medium allows for a certain quietness to imbue even the most distorted expressions of a human figure.”
Picquenot arrived in DC from France a few months ago, for a post-doctoral research position. Concurrently to his academic career, he maintains a diverse artistic production, ranging from the direction of stop motion or live action short films and music videos to painting and modeling.
*Make Your Own Comics w/ Nami Oshiro – a series of workshops Oct. 8, 15, 22, and 29 at 1pm; all ages; sliding scale registration
Creators of all ages and skill levels are invited to learn how to make their own comic books, from planning, to pencils, to finished product. Comics are one of the most accessible art forms – if you have a story, you can make a comic.
*Create your own visual language! w/ Kanchan Balsé – workshop Sunday Oct.16 at 3pm; ages 16+; free
In this workshop we’ll discuss how I use iconography in my work and talk about how the use of symbols can help us explore identity and develop a personal artistic voice. We’ll use a variety of materials to create symbols that we’ll then play with, rearrange, and combine to inspire visual narratives.
*Artist talk by Kanchan Balsé – Sunday Oct.30 at 1pm