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Nieto Fine Art: Artists


Large memphis shadows

Jaya King



San Martin, California

Jaya King creates intense figures and subtle landscape paintings using gouache and wood. She typically works on scrap lumber that has been heavily worn and blemished by weather and time. Her “portraits” have a unique sculptural quality, stemming from the underlying texture of the wood. Within each composition, Jaya’s sadly expressive figures seem to breathe and cry out from a purgatory, lost in their own wonderland. The attitude of these dark figures begins to define their own environment. Consequently, her paintings are concentrated with intense power and rawness.

Jaya began showing her art professionally at the age of 19 through Red Ink Studios. At the age of 21 she had an one-woman show at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University, at age 25 her painting “The Hitch-hiker” became a part of the permanent collection at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, California. In 2010 at age 29, Jaya King was one of 111 watercolor artists selected to be published in the annual “Splash: The Best of Watercolor”.

King’s recent paintings continue to explore the moody compositions of sadly expressive figures and the forgotten buildings of America’s past. This is artwork that taps into emotions we try to ignore. It forces an inner-response, something that pulls on your sleeve and something you can’t ignore. There are deep recesses in a person that an image can touch; that is what must be created with each piece. She digs her fingers into the underbelly of America, pedestals the underdog, spotlights the “taboo”. It’s not the shock value she does it for; it’s a path toward understanding through creation.

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