Washington picks from Jas Keimig

Cliff Notes

Each week, our regional Cliff Notes columnists Mariah Green, Vanessa Perez Winder, Jas Keimig, and Sam Wrigglesworth pick the most exciting events and exhibitions on the West Coast.

The World Upside Down
Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA
August 3 to September 2

Legendary Seattle artist Patti Warashina presents a selection of new ceramic work in The World Upside Down at Traver Gallery. Dealing with the ideas of human consciousness and earthly strife on a cosmic scale, nearly every piece in the exhibition features at least one of Warashina’s iconic figures playing with our troubled planet in a childlike fashion. Whether that’s somersaulting over the sphere or reaching for the planet above like a baby would a mobile. Painted with largely primary colors, these sculptures are covered in symbols both earthly and galactic. Fire, nuclear warheads, and a Trump-like individual plague the ceramic globes as Warashina’s figures are covered in stardust and constellations. I can’t help but see myself in the twisted positions of Warashina’s childlike figures, but instead of gazing at the world on fire, I’m instead raptly staring at my phone. And often, that feels like the exact same thing. 

Reflection: How do you escape the hellish 24/7 news cycle? Where do you find joy and escape amidst a world that seems to constantly spit out terrible news? Is it an embodied escape or one that exists purely in your imagination?

Cheek and Hole
Specialist Gallery, Seattle, WA
July 27 to August 26

Finally, butts get their due. Cheek and Hole at Specialist cheekily surveys the sexual, racial, cultural, and political implications of the ass as it’s depicted in popular media, porn, and the internet. Curators Colby Bishop and Chloe King selected eleven local artists across a broad range of mediums to display their most posterior-forward works — and the results are both tender and horny, abstract and literal. There’s a vulnerability that oozes from Forrest Perrine’s painted closeup of a bottom lit in such a way that delicate hairs are ever so visible. Yearning pulsates from Philippe Hyojung Kim’s rendition of a pink butt just sticking out of a pair of jeans through a rip in an ivy-coated chain link fence. Chloe King’s kaleidoscopic booty-centric collage evokes magazine covers while Adamska Elizaveta Rakhilkina’s photographs and short film explore the intersection of desire and capitalism through sex work. Other pieces include Matthew Parker’s moon-like derriere selfies and Hoops and Holes’ 3D-printed anal toy earrings.

Reflection: How do you locate your desire? How does it shape the way you see the world around you?

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