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Duggal client Kirsten Kay Thoen’s installation at Galeria Melissa, Soho
In a striking example of art meeting commerce, Duggal client Kirsten Kay Thoen‘s large scale works Crystalline Pendulum, Crystalline Pyramid, and Volcanic Nonagon are included in the exhibit Plasmatik, curated by Natalie Kates, at Galeria Melissa, 102 Greene Street in Soho. Galeria Melissa, the retail boutique of Brazilian shoemaker Melissa is often home to large-scale art installations, which manage to highlight, not obscure, the shop’s key product offering of high-end, designer shoes.
Thoen’s process begins with her photography of natural sites (such as California’s Redwood Forest, Iceland’s glaciers or the volcanic terrain of Kauai), progresses by her passion for patterns in nature and her ability to fuse these natural patterns with technology. In the artist’s own words: “There is a metaphysical component within the process of transforming nature into images and images back into vital forms of their own. Together the works assemble a personal cosmology, having primitive and futuristic influences, within which experimental techniques with media create a critical discourse around the increasingly complex roles tech plays on human connectivity to nature.”
The works utilize materials such as plexiglass, wood, and metal to construct their ultimate forms, which often incorporate light, either with internal light sources or shadows cast by external ones. Her use of light enhances the qualities inherent in her photography as well as the viewer’s perception and experience of the work.
Crystalline Pendulum & Pyramid feature Kirsten Kay Thoen’s photographs of ice crystals from a receding glacier in Iceland washed onto a black sand beach. The sculptures themselves resemble massive icicle formations. Duggal Visual Solutions produced the Duratrans photographic panels mounted to Plexiglass, then laser cut them to the artist’s specs. These were then sent to Thoen’s studio for assembly. Volcanic Nonagon highlights the artist’s photographs of a boulder in Kauai assembled into a layered construction of Duggal’s Digital C-prints on Plexiglass and Sintra.
For Ken Bledsoe, Duggal’s Digital C Manager, Thoen is one of the unique and talented artists he works closely with that make his job so enjoyable, a client for whom executing on her vision makes for very rewarding work. Bledsoe also points out that Thoen’s artwork exposes an environmental awareness well in keeping with Duggal’s own mission to provide sustainable, ‘green’ visual solutions to our clients. She is also eager to utilize more of Duggal’s eco-tech offerings in her process and is currently doing so with a new series of soft-form sculptures made from images printed on Duggal’s biodegradable Eco-Poplar.
At Duggal, sustainability means a philosophical commitment to innovate, detoxify and recycle across all aspects of our supply-chain and production processes. We are raising the bar for the entire graphics industry to adopt environmentally responsible practices and reduce their collective ecological footprint.
Besides working with Bledsoe, Thoen also collaborates closely with her Duggal Account Rep Hope Savvides, who has been instrumental in the artist’s process. In Thoen’s words, “Working closely with Hope at Duggal, I have been introduced to new printing substrates that I otherwise would not have known about or considered to utilize. When we first met, Hope suggested I try printing on Duraflex for a new series of sculptures. It was a perfect match to my aesthetic for the work and helped take it to the next level. Having Hope on my team is priceless; she makes sure all my printing, mounting, and laser-cutting are implemented on schedule. Her attention to detail and genuine investment in my process played a valuable and appreciated role in the production of my first large-scale photo-sculptures currently on view at Galeria Melissa in Soho.”
Thoen’s work will be on display at Galeria Melissa at least through February 2015 and has another group show called Topography opening at Gallery Nine5 in Soho, January 14th – March 1st. Opening reception is January 17th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Follow her work online at www.kirstenkaythoen.com & Instagram @kirs_thoen.