We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin N. Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin N., we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
As a painter who has not been represented by a gallery yet, this would be a long term goal down the line. I had some conversation with other painters about their experiences with galleries and while that commercial relationship may not be appealing to art makers and that information is not taught in schools, I still think it is essential for the art makers to know how and what they should expect from having a gallery representation.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Without copy and pasting my statement, I paint abstract paintings. Some look like maps and some are made of lines and rectangles. I think the style of my map paintings set me apart from other art makers that are out there. I have not seen any depiction of maps like mine yet, I like to think that I am the only one who is making these paintings, for now. Right now in my painting career, I am making artwork and applying to open calls more than ever. I recently had a virtual solo with a start up gallery called Gallery Baird and a few group shows. I would like to keep going, keep making artwork and show, and grow my audience. As a local painter only a few people know about, I try to expand my audience on instagram by using different hashtags and engaging in other peoples’ posts. I don’t know the answer to this challenge because I have it, but I find that just by showing up and doing the work helps to overcome any challenges in life. I guess this is a good trait that I would want people to know about me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would show them a few tourist spots like the Grand Central, the Bradbury building, Little Tokyo, and a few galleries and museum in that vicinity (Alameda /1st ~ 3rd). Then visit the observation desk in the InterContinental building in downtown, which is free, but shows a great view of the city from above. There is also a small park called Vista Hermosa, where you have a nice view of the downtown skyscrapers and the freeways. I finally hiked up to the Hollywood sign earlier this year, five years after moving down here, would not mind doing that again either.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
For me to be where I am, I like to thank my girlfriend who came down to Los Angeles to support me. I can’t help but think of this adage: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.