“Years ago, I worked as a trainee for a florist and developed a distaste for flowers,” admits artist Emily Fox King. So when asked about the many floral paintings she has on display throughout Utah, she explains, “These aren’t flowers, they are the idea of flowers.”
Much like King herself, her works abound in contradiction. From bouquets painted fervently, to flowers conceptualized chimerically, King flourishes in the realm of the incongruous. “It’s purposeful that you can’t look up the Latin names of what you’re seeing. It’s nice that it’s vague,” she says. “Maybe we need a little more of that in the world. I enjoy color, texture, looseness and uncertainty.”
King’s paintings start loud, with a canvas of colors inundating one another. Then comes a process of creation, renovation and resolution. At each painting’s conception, the position of the canvas itself is arbitrary. Throughout the process, King rotates the canvas and balances its contents along the way. With each rotation, King contemplates, accepts and repudiates everything from the piece’s colors to its focal point. “That’s where the skill comes in,” King says, “in knowing when to push and pull until the work is complete.”
King’s mid-century home is a revolving gallery of her work. Each room’s focal point is a painting that will eventually relocate to a gallery and be sold. While King enjoys living amongst her work, she relishes knowing that it will one day have the opportunity to uplift someone else.
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