Midori Hirose. Not only does she have the coolest name ever, she is a prolific mixed media artist about to stoke up your senses with her geometric, brain-bending pieces. Forget everything you thought you knew about sculpture and the lifeless stone that so that often populates the world’s museums. Hirose gives free standing art a much-needed goose, modeling sculptures infused with depth and movement, despite their stationary positions. Spend just a few minutes looking at her sculpture and your brain will start to wonder why you haven’t paid the necessary attention to the question of just how beautiful a simple shape can be. Who needs the chiseled abs of Greek gods and the porcelain faces of angels when you can find yourself immersed in sharp angles that call attention to the fact that they aren’t attempting to be anything other than what they are…? This is not representation: this is presentation.
Hirose’s work borders on op art, using heavily themes of black-and-white lattice work patterns, loops, chains, diamonds and pyramids that seem to float mid-air by themselves. She is a tricky one, using foam painted black to create the illusion of large and “metal” squares that seem to frame the surrounding environment or bear down on a wall, gravityless. It is this re-imagining of shapes and textures that renders Hirose’s work so accessible, since just about everyone can relate to a simple square or a stripped down polyhedron (likely painted hyper-bright and evoking some kind of underground gem freshly removed from the center of an alien planet.). When confronted with the simplicity of a metal rectangle or a colorful scrap of gouache suspended on canvas, Hirose draws our attention to the artificiality of the work, forcing the viewer to take in shapes seen everyday with refreshed eyes.
Trust me, you’ll never look at geometry the same again. If only it was this much fun back in high school.
By: W. Laurie Ewer © 2011