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Shadows & Loops from Artist and Filmmaker Harmony Korine

Catch a boundary-pushing filmmaker’s paintings on display at the Frist this month.

Written By:  Jennifer Farrar

Photographers:  Supplied

L: The Kotzur Gift
R: Caker Plino
Photo by Robert McKeever

Nashville native, artist, and filmmaker Harmony Korine is best known for his work in the film industry with projects such as Kids, Spring Breakers, and Gummo. Now, he’s displaying some of his other talents, too.

Shadows & Loops
, which is on display at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts until January 16, 2017, is a collection of 12 paintings that use a combination of oils, pastel, acrylic, ink, and other mediums on canvas. The paintings, radiating a street-art vibe, are both trippy and eerie, with dark shadows and vigorous looping throughout. Some of the works are patterned, while others include figures.

What catch the eye are the stark contrasts in all of his works: black against white, color against color, muted mixes of grays and soft color. As soon as you start to absorb the delight of a well-done abstract work, you realize that Korine has slipped in an animated face or figure. These ingenious little expressions cause you to search the next painting for a treasure tucked into the riot of paint.

“His figurative works have the spontaneity of old-school graffiti, with patches of color, rough textural elements, and random marks developed into characters that have the amorphousness of ghosts,” Frist chief curator Mark Scala says.

Korine hopes to alter perception with his work.

“I’m chasing something that is more of a feeling, something more inexplicable, a connection to colors and dirt and character, something looping and trancelike, more like a drug experience or a hallucination,” he says, via exhibition notes.

Creativity channels through Korine as artist, painter, writer, photographer, and, even, director. “I really don’t know what I’m doing. I never had any training with anything I’ve done. I try [to] turn my total incompetence into a virtue,” he notes.

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