MUNTHE ART MONDAY: MIE YIM
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
I’m a South Korean born, New York City based painter. I’ve lived in the city since the mid 80’s. It’s a place that will chew you up and spit you out, unless you double down and work, focus and try to be the best version of yourself. I’ve been making oil paintings, ranging in sizes from 8” to 80” tall, in a fluid style of figuration and abstraction. Early in my career I used to make figurative art with anthropomorphic animals in pastoral settings. They would evolve into a strange blend of biomorphic machine-like beings, using intuitive sources and drawing on influences from art and life in the Western world.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
I’ve been in the business for a while. Earlier in my career, I remember being in situations where I felt vulnerable as a woman artist, with male art dealers or artists who held power over me because they could help me. Between getting older and wiser, and the me-too movement, no one will mess with me now. Luckily there are many women who own galleries and curate now. It’s a great time to be a woman and a woman of color!
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
There’s way too many, but if I must, I’d say Louise Bourgeois. She was a visionary and I feel a kinship to the way she spins the subconscious and intuition into visual stories. Joan Mitchell, who was such a badass, just painting like hell amongst the ab-ex boys. Eva Hesse, who to me made minimalism feminine. I must also give a shout out to Asian female artists, like Yayoi Kusama and Ruth Asawa, who broke barriers and punched glass ceilings. Without them I would not be here.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
I don’t want to say being a mother, because Alice Neel did it with way more kids and did not complain. I would instead say that the conflicting emotion of wanting to be domestic and wanting to be a professional has been challenging. Also, the ethos of nice Asian girls should be quiet and speak only when spoken to was nagging me in the back of my mind. Needless to say, I got rid of that.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
With my maximalist colors and evocative shapes, I’m seducing the viewer to look at my work. I don’t understand work that’s so difficult to enter. Once in, I hope people will be drawn into multitude unfolding imageries that could be read and felt in different ways. My intention is to convey the notion that beauty cannot exist without the underlying sense of horror - like life and death.
Mie Yim is wearing our DOLCINA dress and DANCE skirt