SEEING DOUBLE: Kaethe Kauffman
Forward by Phil Tarley
Kaethe Kauffman’s work dwells at the intersection of the physical and the spiritual; at the confluence of the transcendental. Point and counterpoint, these highly embellished photographic prints reside in a nether world of conjoined pluses and minuses while figuratively using human shapes as a metaphor. Kauffman’s creative practice itself is devotional, enhancing her meditations, personal reflections and reveries. Depicting people in meditative states is a codifying theme this artist employs to captivate the viewer so we can enter the work and vibrate in sympathy with the intellectual and emotional energies of the photograph.
Many of Kauffman’s subjects celebrate the world they inhabit with a vivid polychromatic palette. Forces of unity and peace fill the cosmology of her figures: her use of Buddhist tropes conjoin inner and outer lives. This duality of mind and spirit, the positive and the negative, the abstract and the concrete, is a leitmotif of her work depicting the inner self and its doppelganger.
The artist languidly entices us to share her various states of consciousness. Her artworks ultimately become fantasies that shimmer with divine reverences.