When hype is built up, rarely does the show ever meet the expectations. Once in a blue moon does one actually surpass the expectations – which is exactly what this show did. Audrey Kawasaki opened up her much anticipated body of work “Hajimari – a prelude” (previewed) at Jonathan LeVine Gallery last weekend in New York City. The sold-out show drew a max capacity crowd that overflowed from the packed gallery space into the adjacent hallways. There were three lines going the whole night – one to get in the gallery, one to buy her limited print, and one to meet Audrey herself. Many of her patient fans flocked from all over the east coast to catch a glimpse of Audrey’s work and meet her in person. “Oohs” and “Ahs” were heard all night from onlookers that crowded around each beautiful painting.
This latest body of work from Audrey took off where her last show “Kageboushi” (covered) left off, further developing her doe-eyed girls, simultaneously exploring their innocence and sexuality. The works from “Hajimari” showcase mature yet still radiant subjects submerged in traditional Japanese settings and cultural mystique. Hajimari clearly represents a new level of work for the already outstanding artist, from the composition of the pieces to the meticulously thought out details in her subjects’ intricate apparel and environment. It was truly a treat to attend and experience such a gratifying show in person. Check out our complete coverage after the jump.