Lisa Kairos

lisakairos's picture

(650) 670-7767

Neighborhood: Mission
1890 Bryant Street Studios

My paintings explore the relationship between natural and human environments and how we perceive them. I am drawn to landscapes that combine nature and utility, usually the remainders and margins of urban space or land that has been shaped by use, infrastructure, and sometimes restoration. I look for a glitch of beauty in unexpected places, a moment of slippage and surprise. I focus on areas where one type of space transitions to another: shadow to light, burn pile to ash, tidal marsh to open water. Where one thing becomes another, I find a metaphor for transformation.

In my studio, I work in transparent layers, staining, painting, and drawing. I combine and recombine imagery, creating visual fields that hold the feeling of the places I’ve explored. Sometimes I work with pigments and materials found in the landscapes: wildfire charcoal, water, ochre, iron and copper, plants, chalk, salt. I interrupt painterly spaces with geometry and line, a shift in scale, or by cutting through the picture plane in an effort to create perceptual ambiguity. Gestural passages mingle with cartographical and technological references. The result is a complex of color, form, and line and a sense of floating space.