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Alumnx Spotlight

Kohshin Finley’s Recent Work Captures the Love Between His Subjects

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The L.A.-based artist often depicts close friends in his work.
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Marque and Tiffany (2021) by Kohshin Finley

Marque and Tiffany, 2021 (Oil on canvas, 70 by 56 inches)

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Kohshin Finley, ’12 BFA Communication Arts

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I was inspired by wanting to see love represented in a positive way in an artwork. Throughout the history of art, relationships between two people are often showcased in the midst of trial, conflict, and heartbreak. With this piece, I wanted to capture a moment where a relationship was captured in its brightness, subtlety, and warmth. In creating this work in this way, I am expanding the realities of what paintings can represent, and how people can be represented in them. When thinking about what this might look like, it was important to me to capture people I know and had a connection with. I captured my friends in a way that shows them as real people, and not as painted figures to simply convey a concept that didn’t resonate with them. Creating artworks in this way considers my friends’ humanity, and through doing so I acknowledge and carry the responsibility of immortalizing someone in a certain moment and respecting their presence within it. This work has been for me and my practice and I cannot wait to continue to dive deeper and explore the ways love can be seen.

Marque and Tiffany is part of the exhibition, Shattered Glass, on view at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery in Los Angeles through May 22. In September, Finley’s work will also be included in the group show, Feedback, at Jack Shainman: The School in Upstate New York. His L.A. Louver artist talk on L.A. Futurism, which included Otis alumnx Gajin Fujita (’97 BFA Fine Arts), can be viewed here. For more information, please visit KohshinFinley.com, and follow him on Instagram, @kohshinfinley.