Featured Artist

September 2020

Miki Boni

On display thru September

The featured artist for September at In-Town Gallery is Miki Boni and her new show is FaceScapes. This not-to-be missed presentation of her work is featured at In-Town Gallery. If there is one subject that has universal interest it is the depiction of the human face. Men, women and children have been the subject of paintings for centuries and this September Miki Boni brings her own unique style to this long explored and still fascinating subject. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, there will not be a reception in September.

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Miki Boni, a Brooklyn NY native, is an award-winning painter who began her career in Manhattan's East Village drawing street portraits. Miki has lived in Mexico as a working artist, where she taught painting and drawing in San Miguel de Allende. An avid traveler, she was deeply influenced by the surrealism she found in Mexico and the minimalism she explored in Japan. She is the first American woman painter invited to be part of a permanent museum collection in Nayarit, Mexico and was elected to Washington DC's National League of American Pen Women for her contributions to the visual arts. Recipient of an ArtsMove grant, she moved to Chattanooga from The Village of the Arts, an artist’s colony she helped found on Florida’s Gulf Coast. She has been living and working on the City’s Southside since 2008. Recently, Boni completed her first mural, Nyx, Goddess of Night, as part of The McCallie Walls Mural Project in Highland Park.

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Why did she choose the human face as the subject of her show? “Faces tell a story. Always. Particularly the eyes. Whether it’s a human or an animal, they tell you what the subject is feeling in each moment. My goal is to capture and freeze those moments and present them on canvas."

That’s certainly true of her painting, A Country Gentleman.  Boni’s subject is a man dressed in everyday clothes which she paints in muted blues that are complemented with golden yellows. This quiet man looks directly at the viewer locking their eyes with his. He is a kindly thoughtful man but one who radiates a strength he does not have to exaggerate. She expresses this through subtle color combinations and the large stable shapes she uses.

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But another of her paintings, Socially Distanced, presents a very different perspective on the human condition. During this long and difficult year of coping with a global pandemic, we have all been impacted. The eyes of the woman in this painting tell her story--disruption, isolation and loneliness. Masses of dark colors surround her penetrating eyes.  As the artist says, “I use whatever stylistic elements I feel will bring a subject to life. In the time of Covid’s social distancing, what safer way to bring the ones you know closer than by telling their story in paint?”