kim kauffman

  • illumitones

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about illumitones

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My images are fundamentally about form and revealing the visual eloquence that I see in all things. This eloquence is often expressed in the details and abstractions of the object. For this reason I have taken the name Synecdoche Studio because it characterizes my work so perfectly – taking the part to represent the whole, finding the special in the ordinary.

Forms manifest in the resonance of a curve, the rhythm of a pattern, the dichotomy of light and shadow. They abound everywhere in nature: the twist of a leaf, the overlap of feathers on a bird’s wing, the symmetry of an unfurling flower. We emulate them in our human creations: the arch of a cathedral, the weave of a textile. These innate forms, abstractions from the larger world, connect with us at a basic level and help us to organize and understand our world.

I have explored and continue to explore these innate forms across a variety of subjects and in many different processes. The work you will see on this web site spans many years. It is united because it all starts with my very basic reaction to and exploration of form.


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Illumitones is a series of photo-collages that, for me, goes to the heart of image-making. Abstracting elements and extracting archetypal forms is the method I intuitively use when responding to my subject matter. The subject takes on meaning beyond itself becoming a vehicle through which to explore the classic elements of composition––light and shadow, line, form, texture, balance, symmetry, repetition.

These are powerful visual elements for human beings and intrinsic to how we perceive our environment. These images are about a framework for vision: how we organize visual space––whether 2-dimensional, as on a canvas, a sheet of film, a digital file––or 3-dimensional as we structure our phsyical surroundings.  

The Illumitones series is a new step in my study of abstraction. The collage technique developed in my other work suits this exploration perfectly. The subject is paper, an endlessly malleable and compliant object that also represents the blank slate that is the artist’s starting point. It allows me to further remove my work from the particulars of the object and concentrate on the creation of organic and geometric compositons that distill the intrinsic elements of the human endeavor of making art.

Illumitones titles are drawn from the terminology of other art forms that influence and inspire me: poetry, literature, dance and music. This cross-pollination with other genres is an appropriate pairing for these images that are about the act of art-making.


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