New York

Keiko Bonk

Piezo Electric Gallery

Keiko Bonk was born in Hawaii. She attended college there, in California, and finally in New York. The colleges can be read as stopping points on a journey to the Lower East Side, where she has been performing and exhibiting regularly since 1983. Typically Bonk’s earlier paintings depicted young lovers (alone or in pairs) against backdrops of volcanoes, jungles, moonlit rivers, or fire. The iconography was pure soap-opera cliché, while the colors were MTV lurid and the content syrupy and one-dimensional. The paintings’ minimal charm resided in their pose of innocence and overt romanticism. The images were specific enough for the viewer to get the drift of the narrative immediately, yet vague enough for overdetermined critics to read more into them if they wanted.

In Bonk’s most recent paintings, the only thing that has changed is the imagery. Peace symbols in a landscape of roses or skulls,

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