• Artist Bio

    Athena Kim is a painter living in the Bay area whose abstract expressionism embodies complex personal feelings and body sensations. Each of her works is a profound personal journey into the depths of the subconscious and past personal experiences. As a result, they culminate in unique compositions of richly colored abstract images which fill large canvases with gestures, lines, shapes, and colors that evoke feelings of transcendence and tranquility.

     

    Athena has shown her work locally at numerous galleries and exhibitions, including The Women's Building, Presidio Landmark, One7 Gallery, Public Glass, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, The Troll House at Pier 26, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, the Upload Collective, University of San Francisco, North Beach Bauhaus, China Basin Landing, Senator Scott Wiener’s office in the State building of California in San Francisco, Neyborly Poet's Corner in Berkeley, and Playground Global in Palo Alto (2016 - present)

    Artist Statement

    As an artist, I aim for creative emotional expression that springs from personal experiences, both ordinary and extreme.

     

    Seeking not to be constrained, I favor large canvases that permit me to give spontaneous and full manifestation to the subconscious. This freedom is reflected in the eight to ten integrated applications of pigment and the diverse styles and techniques that characterize my work. In that way I can convey a wide range of attitude and emotion through non-representational means, with emphasis on embodied sculpting with paints through the mindful yet intuitive process of creating each stroke and layer.

     

    It is my hope that the exploration of profound personal emotions through my work transcends the canvas in a way that connects in personal ways with the viewer, both conscious and subconscious.

     

  • Sold Works

    Take a look and enjoy!

    Transcendence

    Acrylic on Canvas

    16 " x 20"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Cosmic Erosion 2017

    Acrylic on Canvas

    25" x 25"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Erosion 2017

    Acrylic on Wood

    22" x 30"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Blue Note No.1 2017

    Acrylic on Canvas

    16" x 20"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    The Rain of Love 2017; No love is lost.

    Mixed Media on canvas

    18x24"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Forest Rain In The Fall 2016

    Acrylic on canvas

    16x20"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Forest 2017

    Acrylic on wood

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Le Grand Bleu No.2 2017

    Acrylic on Canvas

    22"x28"

    (Private Collection in Menlo Park)

    The Flow of Life 2017

    Acrylic on Canvas

    30" x 40"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Blue Space No.2 2017

    Acrylic on Canvas

    60" x 84"

    (Private Collection in Palo Alto)

     

    Blue Space No.1 2017

    Acrylic on Canvas

    60" x 84"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Trajectory 2017

    Acrylic on Canvas

    30" x 40"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Emergence 2017

    Acrylic on Canvas

    16" x 20"

    (Private Collection in San Jose)

    Interoception 2017

    Acrylic on Canvas

    36" x 48"

    (Private Collection in SF)

     

    Unfolding Repressed Emotions 2017

    Pigment Sticks on Canvas

    22x28"

    (Private collection in Berkeley)

    Blue Mind No. 3 2017

    Pigment Sticks on Canvas

    8x8" each

    (Private Collection in Alameda)

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck 2017

    Acrylics on Canvas

    30x40"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    HEAT 2018

    Acrylics on Canvas

    16" x 20"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    The garden of birth 2017

     

    Acrylics on wood

    30x40"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Le fleur de l'age

    Mixed Media on Birchwood

    30x40"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Transcendence No.6 2017

    Oil on Canvas

    16" x 20"

    (Private Collection in Berkeley)

    The Waves of Emotions 2018

    Gold, Charcoal, Acrylics on Canvas

    22" x 30"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Blue Space 2018

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    30x40"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Blue Space 2018

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Logic vs Passion 2018

    Acrylics on Canvas

    16" x 20"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    The Flow of Grief

    Acrylics on Canvas

    20" x 16"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Star Dusts 2018

    Acrylics on Canvas

    30x40"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Transcendence 2017

    Acrylics on Canvas

    16" x20"

    (Private Collection)

    The Forest of Emotions 2017

    Acrylics on Canvas

    16" x20"

    (Private Collection)

    The Forest in San Francisco 2017

    Acrylics on Canvas

    22" x 30"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Heat 2018

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    40" x 40"

    (Private Collection in Berkeley)

    Athena Monologue Vol.11 2016

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    16" x 20"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Transcendence Vol.10 2017

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    16" x 20"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Anger 2016

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    30" x 40"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Vulnerability No.1 2018

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (Private Collection in Dubai)

    Blue Space; Nebula No.5

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (Private Collection in Dubai)

    Untitled No.2 2017

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    10" x 10"

    (Private Collection of Will Kabat-Zinn)

    The Flow of Emotions 2017

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    15" x 18"

    (Private Collection of Tom Broxton & Sarah Hingston)

    Vulnerability 2-2 2018

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    18" x 24"

    (Private Collection of Tom Broxton & Sarah Hingston)

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  • Blue Space Nebula Collection

    Blue Space ; Nebula No.2 2017 Mixed Media on canvas 5 ft x 7 ft

    Blue Space; Nebula No.1

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 84"

    (Private Collection in SF)

    Blue Space; Nebula No.2

    Mixed Media on canvas

    60" x 84"

    (Private Collection in Palo Alto)

    Blue Space; Nebula No.3

    Mixed Media on canvas

    60" x 72"

    (For Sale)

    Blue Space; Nebula No.4

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (For Sale)

    Blue Space; Nebula No.5

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (Private Collection)

    Blue Space; Nebula No. 6

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (For Sale)

    Blue Space; Ocean No.1

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (For Sale)

    Blue Space; Ocean No.2

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (For Sale)

  • Photos

    Interoception Collection

    Interoception No.1,  Mixed Media on Canvas,  36" x 48"

    Interoception No.1

    Mixed Media on canvas

    36" x 48"

    Interoception No.2

    Mixed Media on canvas

    36" x 48"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.3

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    36" x 48"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.4

    Mixed Media on Canvas,

    36" x 48"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.5

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    36" x 48"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.6

    Mixed Media on canvas

    30" x 40"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.7

    Mixed Media on canvas

    30" x 40"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.8

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    40" x 40"

    (On Hold)

    Interoception No.9

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    40" x 40"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.10

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    40" x 40"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.11

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    40" x 40"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.12

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    40" x 40"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.13

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    40" x 40"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.14

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    40" x 40"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.15

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    40" x 40"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.16

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    36" x 48"

    (For Sale)

    Interoception No.17

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (For Sale)

  • Vulnerability Collection

    Interoception No.1,  Mixed Media on Canvas,  36" x 48"

    Vulnerability No.1

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (Private Collection in Dubai)

    Vulnerability No.2-1

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    60" x 72"

    (For Sale)

    Vulnerability No.2-2

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    18" x 24"

    (Private Collection of Tom Broxton & Sarah Hingston)

  • Contact

    Don't be afraid to reach out. You + us = awesome.

  • What I Do

    Art Commission, Exhibition, Collaboration, Donation

    Private Art Commissions

    Blue Space; Nebula No.1 2017

    References available upon request.

    Donation for National Nonprofit organizations

    National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) San Francisco

    2017 Gala art installation

    20 artworks were exhibited. 2 art pieces were donated.

    Artist Residency

    The Troll House ,San Francisco Feb-April 2017

    Upload Collective San Francisco June-Oct 2017

    Art Exhibition at Corporate Gallery

    Blue Space + Interoception Solo Art Exhibition

    Lyft HQ, China Basin, San Francisco

    Jan 1~ May 1, 2018

    Art: Exhibition at Public Building

    NITE LIFE Group Art Exhibition

    Senator Scott Wiener's Office, San Francisco

    May1~ July 1, 2018

    Art Exhibition at Private Property

    Blue Space Solo Art Exhibition

    Financial District San Francisco

    May1~ Aug 1, 2018

    Art Exhibition at Art Gallery

    Blue Space Solo Art Exhibition

    Neyborly Poet's Corner, Berkeley

    July 17~ Oct 1, 2018

    Art Exhibition at Local Business

    First Friday Solo Art Exhibition

    Donkey & Goat Winery, Berkeley

    June 1~3 2018

     

    Donation for Fundraising by Nonprofit Organizations

    Back On My Feet San Francisco 2nd Annual Gala

    San Francisco Marriott Marquis

    May 3, 2018

     

    Associated Artist Ambassador for Stellargold (Stellargoldcoin.com) 

    https://stellargoldcoin.com/athena-kims-art

    This is an Athena Kim's Artist shop featuring various high quality digital prints of Athena's work for sale. All purchases are made in Stellargold tokens only. All proceeds go directly to Athena Kim's Ethereum address and Stellargold takes 0% commission from this. The artist also not been charged in any way, shape or form to exhibit and sell her pictures here as it is our honor to have her art grace our website.

     

    For further inquiries and to claim your pictures after payment, please email athenakimart@gmail.com directly

    Public Art Exhibition

    Earth: Group Art Exhibition 2018

    State government office of Senator Wiener, San Francisco

    Sep 14 ~ Oct 30 2018, 2018

  • Articles about Athena Kim Art

    Athena Kim and the Law of Conservation

    October 23rd 2018

    Athena Kim and the Law of Conservation

     

    "Rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme.”

    Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, Traité élémentaire de chimie, 1789.

     

    To understand anything about Athena Kim the person is to understand suffering. Her innate ability to transform suffering into beauty is a testament to human resilience. Her deliberate decision to do so is an inspiration.

     

    As described elsewhere, Kim is a multiple trauma survivor from Korea. While a remarkable story, this is not the time or place to discuss the horrific experiences she has lived through, nor how for over 20 years in Korea she managed to survive before moving to the California Bay Area in 2016 and establishing herself as an artist in 2017.

     

    Surprisingly perhaps, as chilling and inspiring Kim’s life story may be, it is not necessary to know anything about the artist to appreciate the immediate beauty of her art. Although her work can certainly be understood as a ferocious attempt to heal from trauma, a process of transfiguration of psychological and physical pain into an esthetic experience, it also projects a force of expression that escapes such reductive interpretation.

     

    In fact, most viewers spontaneously experience Kim’s large, colorful canvases as profoundly joyful and meditative. For instance it is hard not to recognize the signature Blue Space Nebula series, with its seemingly never ending layers of magnificent blues, as a voyage into deep space. Moving closer, thick waves of vinyl paint appear: now we feel engulfed by something like a vast ocean. However our trip is not over. Unlike almost any other works of modern art which demand a safe physical distance, the Blue Space Nebula series can be experienced eyes closed, by touch only, hands caressing their infinitely varied vinyl asperities as if entering a different dimension. Step back again and these sensory inputs seem to merge in our brain, perhaps approaching what neurophysiologists call “synthesia”, an integration of the senses where for instance a sound can be experienced as a color, or as in this case, color can be experienced as touch or inner movement.

     

    While true that the many layers of superposed paint, up to ten in some cases, may also be a kind of protective psychological barrier the artist has created in an attempt to distance herself from ever lurking symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), just as Van Gogh’s turbulent Starry Night swirls cannot be reduced to his supposed schizophrenic hallucinations, Athena Kim’s Blue Space Nebula layering cannot be reduced to PTSD. However what does define the series is the extraordinary multi-sensorial and physiological experience it elicits in our own brain, and the existential sense of awe it may trigger.

     

    As another example, the Vulnerability series is an explicit attempt by the artist to peel away some of her protective defenses by letting the canvas breathe with white open spaces, possibly at the risk of being exposed to new emotional pain. The result is a semi-organized turbulence of lines and shapes in the style of classic Abstract Expressionism.

     

    But again, such an explanation does not do justice to the work. Its immediate effect on me was that of a three dimensional rotating cylinder jumping entirely off the white canvas into space, like nothing I had quite ever experienced before. I would actually describe it not simply as a form suspended in space, but as a space-time in itself built according to the rules of some yet to be invented non-linear mathematics.

     

    I later found not everyone sees this sudden 3-D jump off the canvas, demonstrating if anything that our brains work differently from each other. However even seen as flat, or flatish, the series does come close to obeying the kind of fractalian mathematics often found in nature: look closer and instead of disappearing, new paintings of similar kind but with seemingly endless variation appear. In this sense, Kim’s painting is neither abstract nor representative, but open ended with a depth akin to that of the sensations of the real world as we experience them.

     

    Facing such mastery, it is astounding to learn Kim had never held a brush before 2015. Moreover, like a Picasso incarnated in a petite Asian woman who’s creativity was suddenly unleashed as if a fountain too long suppressed, she has progressed through four or five styles already.

     

    Such almost blinding creative profusion only illuminates what I believe to be the one unifying theme of Athena Kim’s ever changing work: transformation. In the end her art seems to obey not a psychological or esthetic law but a physical one, the law of conservation of mass as discovered by the visionary 18th century chemist Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier: “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed.”

     

     

    Written by Thor Conelly

    Athena Kim's Blue Space series

    October 19th 2018

    "In her art, Athena Kim transmutes universal human emotions—joy, pleasure, anger, despair, love, lust, envy, contentment—into vibrant colors and tactile textures. Her Blue Space series evokes the depth of the ocean with prickly, thickly-painted technique; like the ocean itself, these paintings look serene from a distance but can be menacing up close. Her layered compositions move the body before the mind, like the sun being obscured by the clouds, or coming out from behind them to warm your skin."

     

    Written by Brian Robinson,

    Director of Analytics / Media Partnership, Facebook

     

    Artist Athena Kim Interview Article

    http://spiltarts.com/interview-with-athena-kim/

    Published by Spilt Arts, Los Angeles, CA on November, 2017

    Using Art to Heal from Violence

    Published by W.O.M.A.N., Inc. on April 17th, 2019

    Inspiring to imagine exploration in space

    “The size scope of Athena’s Blue Space Nebula art was what first caught my attention. We’re excited by anyone who is inspired enough about space to create pieces of art that are intended to inspire others to explore their creative side and get interested in exploration. Athena’s work appears to please both the discerning artistic eye and capture the imagination of people about their future in space.”

     

    Written by Bob Jacobs, Deputy Associate Administrator / Communications, NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    The depth and variety of different feelings and emotions.

    May 13th 2019

    I love the depth and variety of different feelings and emotions that Athena’s work invokes. There are many that I connect with, but when I saw Vulnerability 2-2, it particularly jumped out. I love the thick bright colours against the bright white background of the canvas. Athena's pieces all contain so much emotion, I feel like I get different stories, maybe different moments from her life, from the different styles. I was particularly enjoying her BlueSpace pieces, the depth and heavy, brooding feeling of them. It was a surprise to me when I saw these lighter pieces and initially I was drawn the ones with the similar blue-black pallet, but then I found these lighter, more colorful ones, they have optimism and energy that I love. It hangs on my wall now, a little reminder of Athena’s own optimism, that makes me smile when I see it.

     

    Written by Tom Broxton, UX design manager, Google

    Different shapes emerge from different viewpoints.

    May 12th 2019

    I was drawn to the bright, contrasty colours and the depth they create together, almost like looking through the trees into the forest behind, or through the reflections into the pool beneath. Different shapes emerge when you look at it from different viewpoints. I love the metallic touches in it.

     

    Sarah Hingston, Designer

  • Current Art Exhibition on View

    Coming Soon.

    Eleven paintings of Athena Kim's new Blue Space; Nebula series are installed as a featured local art / artist. at Marica Restaurant, 5301 College Ave, Oakland, CA. Free admission for viewing between 5 ~ 10 p.m. Monday ~ Sunday. Jan 5~ Aug 25, 2019 Do you want private viewing with me before 5 p...
    February 20, 2019
    Attention, my collectors and fans! The “East on West” art exhibition opening reception was huge success. Thanks to everyone who came celebrate such a wonderful event bringing Asian Pacific Islander artists together in the Bay area. You're welcome to come view my recent Blue Space;Nebula No.3...
    Global Climate Action Summit 2018 The ”eARTh” exhibit had its opening reception this Friday, September 14th from 5-7pm. Special thanks to Senator Scott Wiener for hosting this event and Joseph Abbati for curating it beautifully. https://www.facebook.com/events/2013923915287264/ 9 a.m. ~ 5 p...
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