TRANSLATOR OF REALITY AND BEYOND
To native Utahn, Kim Whitesides, art is a language, an opportunity for his vision to inspire others. Kim made an impact in the art community at a very young age. In grammar school (3rd grade) Kim was chosen to lead a seminar on paper-mache sculpture before the membership of the Utah Teachers Association. While in High School, his work as a graphic artist included the creation of celebrity portraits, which led to purchases by, and friendships with a number of musical artists. Kim’s formal training came from the University of Utah, and the Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles, where he graduated in 1967, with great distinction.
Kim lived, and worked as an illustrator, in New York City, from the late 60’s through the mid 80’s. During this period his paintings appeared in many publications, including Time magazine, Rolling Stone, and Playboy. He received numerous awards from The Art Directors Club of New York, and The Society of Illustrators. It was, at this time, that Kim began a period of bold work with the airbrush, that emphasized the simplified spaces, and clean lines of art deco, and art moderne, for which he gained a national reputation, and an envied list of clients.
Kim has shared his abilities with many students and groups. He lectured and spoke many times, at the Art Center, at B.Y.U., and the Conference that Happens to be in Park City. He has taught at the School of Visual Arts, in N.Y.C., the University of Utah, and the Salt Lake Community College.
Kim’s style has evolved through several mediums over the decades, including Graphite drawings, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, oils, and oils combined with egg tempera. Kim continues to grow as an artist, he feels his art is constantly opening doors on new vistas. “Each medium has been like learning a new language-and has spawned the desire to become fluent, whatever the subject matter”.
On landscapes: “Throughout my life the desert has always offered redemption, both as a sanctuary from the city pressures, and a direct inspiration to activate my creative drive. You cannot argue with the silence of the wilderness.” Kim translates the buzz and hum of the desert into light: playing at the edge of reality, and sharpening our view, of the places and things he brings to life on canvas. There is a dreamlike quality that Kim lends, to each of his landscapes. One can perceive a hint of spanish religious architecture in the clean shear line of a buttress, perhaps a particular formation reminds one of the geometrics of San Estevan Cathedral at Acoma, or does the tower in the foreground bulge like the west wall of the Ranchos de Taos Church? The visual qualities of certain formations pull the eye back to wonder, and catch the magic.
On still lifes: “Painting is an ancient craft, but the experience is always stimulating. The true masters are the great classical masters, who revolutionized the treatment of the object, conferring on their still lifes – through a scrupulous study of details and play of light – a dignity and intensity which appear to free them from the inert, and humanize them. The truth is, this similarity is a mirage.” Therein lies Kim’s fascination with still lifes. If life is, a mix of chaos, imperfection, passion – Kim strives to negate that – with order, clarity, lucidity, perfect forms and exact content. This beauty has not been created to express the real world, but to replace it with another, a better one that hopes to express the true picture as well as the possibility, a new reality in which the control of technique has become an ally for a vision.
“The right objects, in the right places, with the right light, turning into the right shadows, I like that.” – Kim
“Often an artist is measured not just by skill, but by a particular way of seeing. I have known, collected and admired Kim Whitesides for over 20 years. His work has always remained on the cutting edge of social trends and new technologies. His subjects are just either side of the middle, even when they are mainstream. Kim enjoys the delight of a rich imagination, a purely original point of view, and the support of a fine skill.” – Robert Redford
In the mid 90’s Kim added the design of rugs to his list of accomplishments. His designs for The Tibet Rug Co. are manufactured in Katmandu, Nepal and imported into the United States. The rugs are created with attention to detail and dedication to craft. Only traditional methods and the finest hand spun 100% tibetan wools are used. there is a magical quality too, it’s inherent in the textures, the colors, the designs. Crafted to last a lifetime, the only difference between the rugs and Kim’s other works of fine art is a matter of function. You walk on these – live with them – they become part of you. visit them at — www.tibetrugcompany.com