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Surreal Portraits Celebrate ‘Mother Earth’ With Women Made Out of Nature

How one artist takes inspiration from creation.

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Artist Brian Kirhagis (aka BK The Artist) couples socially conscious concepts with surrealist subject matter to craft distinctive paintings. Challenging the capabilities of the human mind, he presents viewers with multi-layered imagery, combining several styles and motifs into complex compositions. This artistic approach is evident in EARTH, a recent body of work that celebrates the “Sacred Mother” through striking female portraiture.

Each powerful portrayal features a woman composed entirely of lush plants, colorful flowers, and sinuous wood. In most depictions, the figures are set in wild nature and appear meditative, embodying the spirit of the mythological “Mother Earth.” Ethereal yet earthly and both human and vegetation, the women illustrate Kirhagis’ interest in “weaving together double images” in order to create eye-catching and thought-provoking narratives.

Though seemingly conveyed as goddesses, the figures in EARTH also represent real-life women. With their confident poses and contemplative expressions, the figures convey a combination of strength and serenity. Through this symbolism, Kirhagis aims to recognize and empower the modern woman—a goal that is central to his artistic practice. “Kirhagis speaks to the current culture of accountability and the sincere need for respect and understanding of women in today’s world,” Treason Gallery explains. “The conversations in his work have always been charged, and EARTH is no different.”

EARTH, a solo exhibition, will be on view at Seattle’s  Treason Gallery from February 1 through February 24, 2018.

For EARTH, his new exhibition at Treason Gallery, artist Brian Kirhagis explores the concept of Mother Earth.

Kirhagis meticulously paints each female portrait, which features a woman made entirely out of flora.

This story was originally published by Kelly Richman-Abdou on My Modern Met.  

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