In her new body of work, Inflorescence, California-based and Korean-born artist Soey Milk captures the most significant moments and eras from the timeline of her life, embodying them as vibrant portraits of some of her friends.
An obsessive sketcher and doodler, for the first time ever, Milk will be showcasing the initial seedling drawings and ideas that would later blossom into some of her best-known paintings. "I will start with an idea and an image, then I spend a good amount of time creating a drawing of it," says Milk. "These studies often serve as blueprints for my paintings. I work in many layers and glazes, and often on three or four paintings simultaneously.
"Usually, my process will slow down significantly near finishing, then the tweaking hour comes where paintings are revisited and fine-tuned until we are all happy."
Inflorescence also continues her experimentation with embedded objects as a medium in her work, with painted-over wallpapers and fabrics comprising the background of some of her paintings, pulled from the rooms they were created in. In one piece, a feather from her chicken spontaneously made its way onto the canvas and was sealed in place by a layer of paint.
A graduate of Art Center in Pasadena, California, Milk has carefully developed her inimitable style over the years becoming known for her portraits of truly alluring and beautiful women. Drawing a lot of inspiration from her South Korean heritage, she creates refined paintings and drawings which have the great balance between the sharp focus of the charming subjects and the vivid chaos of the background.
Born in 1989 in Seoul, Korea, Soey Milk moved to Southern California in the year 2000. At first, Milk’s path was leading her to become a ballerina but after she was first introduced to painting she decided to pursue a career in visual art. The versatile artist, Soey Milk works primarily with oils and watercolours creating an outstanding narrative universe that is at once tender and strange.
Characterised by the high level of meticulousness, attentiveness to details and powerful combinations of colours and shapes, her work evokes a certain level of sensibility and mysteriousness, floating between realism and abstraction. The porcelain faces of her often nude muses reveal an interior less innocent and pure than lead on to believe at first glance.
Soey Milk’s Inflorescence will feature in her second solo show with Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, opening on Saturday 8 September and will run until 13 October 2018.