Bortolami Gallery is pleased to present Watercolors, Mika Horibuchi’s first New York solo exhibition. The paintings contain no actual watercolor media, but a combination of oil painting techniques used to recreate images from photos of her grandmother’s watercolor paintings.
As a nod to traditional photo mounting techniques, Horibuchi has applied and sanded many layers of gesso to create a subtle relief in the form of a rectangle with four triangular corners. This ultra-smooth painting surface is “framed” by the raw, stretched linen of her support, as if each image is suspended on the page of a family photo album.
This alludes to what Horibuchi calls a “spiral of mimesis,” using oils to replicate both the flatness of a photograph and the dispersed pigmentation of watercolor paints. Her color pools in a single, uniform layer atop the gessoed surface, translating her grandmother’s brushstrokes in scales which vary from small, postcard sized paintings to massive works several times larger than their source materials.