Exhibition: Your Favorite Artist's Favorite Artist

Friday, December 5, 2014



A few weeks ago, out of the blue, Kris Kuksi sent me a message on Facebook asking if I had any works available to show. He wanted to invite me to exhibit with him at Joshua Liner Gallery's upcoming show—Your Favorite Artist's Favorite Artist—taking place in New York from November 20th to December 20th. 

For those of you not familiar with Kris' work:

Kris Kuksi, Reticent Affair, 2012.

Amazing isn't it? Del Toro collects his work and he's inviting me as his favorite artist?! Dude.

I said yes of course, that I would be honored to. And although I didn't have anything with me then, I would be happy to get something done for the show.

In response he thanked me.

Imagine Waterhouse thanking me for agreeing to take part in a Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood show. Yeah.

After my participation was confirmed, Kris and I worked on picking out my piece. We agreed on my final work from the Motherland Chronicles series—The Death of Eurydice.

Motherland Chronicles #52 - The Death of Eurydice

The next step was getting the print done and finding a frame. The print was easy, I just had to sit at the printers for two days and do a thousand proofs, the hard part was getting the frame.

Long since my first solo show, 6 years ago now, I've wanted to one day show my work in an ornate gold frame, this is one of my most appropriate works for it. So I brought the idea to Kris who gave it his immediate approval and support, but it turned out that finding one though, wasn't quite as easy.

I went to flea markets, antique stores, asked for recommendations and searched online. Nada. Until finally, I found Lowy Frame and Restoration Company. They have a collection of over 4000 antique frames and the best customer service ever (thank you Rebecca!), and were able to find me the most wonderful thing I have ever seen—an 18th century Louis XV frame with sweep ornamentation. It was pure beauty.

Death of Eurydice by Zhang Jingna, in 18th century Louis XV French frame with sweep ornaments in corners and centers.
Photo courtesy of Lowy Framing.
Once the framing was done at Lowy's, the work was delivered to the gallery for installation. My job was done, yay! But leading up to the opening I started thinking, what if the frame's gold popped too much? What if the print turned out too green under the gallery lights? What if the work didn't look good anymore?! What if?!!

I fretted the whole week until the day the show opened. And when I arrived that night I realized I hadn't needed to. It was perfection.




Photo courtesy of D. Yee.
Photo courtesy of D. Yee.

I met up with friends, chatted with fans, and was introduced to some very lovely, nice people. Then one of my assistants brought me this flyer where the gallery artists wrote introductions for the guest artists they invited. And I was all oh that's cool, let's see what it says

Kris Kuksi on Zhang Jingna:      "I choose Zhang Jingna to be a part of this show because her work escapes its own medium. Her photographic portraits seem to transcend creating the soft and voluptuous color of figural forms reminiscent in symbolist painters of the 19th century. She captures a refreshing perspective of an archetypical lover with a skill free from the bonds of 'formulation'. There is soul and pure human expression in her works that I believe everyone can relate to present in her portraiture—both the warmth and chill of emotions. At such a young age it will be very exciting to see her career move forward though her work arrives already present-day mature and refined."
... Words failed me, I blushed so hard and was so moved I was close to tears.

Having validation like this from an artist I've admired for years, it's so touching and heartwarming I can't even begin to describe. I can't begin to express how much it means to me.

Thank you Kris, for inspiring and motivating me to work even harder now.

I can't wait to share my new work with all of you. :D


If you are in New York, Your Favorite Artist's Favorite Artist is on show at Joshua Liner Gallery through December 20th, 2014. Please stop by if you have the chance.