'Perspective' (Him/Her), 2017. By Cj Jilek. Ceramic, Underglaze, Flocking, Vintage Millinery Elements 14 × 17 × 12 in 35.6 × 43.2 × 30.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Launch LA.

BIODIVERSITY & CROSS POLLINATION by Cj Jilek & Hiroko Yoshimoto @ Launch LA

July 29, 2022

Ms. Cj Jilek presents to us a Mendelian dreamworld with her fastidious presentation of the imaginatively botanical with her Cross Pollination opening at Launch LA. Her comprehensive background in horticulture provides us with a gifted perspective on a world so necessary for our lives, yet so distant from our daily focus. Her affirmation of plant life and its plastic permutations is warranted in a world drunk in information technological stupor, with goals more temporary and self-centered than eternally cosmic. After all, plants have been around for hundreds of millions of years, if not longer.


‘Grivella Robusta’ (2022) by Cj Jilek. Ceramic, Underglaze, Flocking, Millinery Elements
6 × 6 1/2 × 5 in
15.2 × 16.5 × 12.7 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Launch LA


And what is so unique in her art? It is that self-certainty in understanding the standard Nature has set for its expansive ornamentation in plant-life, in the most microscopic of details. This is so much of Ms. Jilek’s accomplishment, in drawing us nearer to a world truer than one which contains the elements of deceit, fraudulence, greed, pride, etc. that is of markets. To return us back to Nature, as Seneca affirms, as a form of sustaining a correct perspective on how to Will our World unto perfection unlimitedly, is the commendable feat heretofore.


‘Spring Narcissist’ by Cj Jilek. Ceramic, Underglaze, Flocking, Monofilament, Millinery Elements
4 × 5 1/2 × 5 in
10.2 × 14 × 12.7 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Launch LA


Yet what about her originality? Is she being merely imitative in her pursuit of fine art? While she adopts ideas of actual plant life, it is in her composition of her plants into truly original media by imposing genetical creativity from her natural experiences which makes this a marvelous sculptural effort. Indeed, it is because of her refinement in understanding the cellular organizing of plants which permits her to extend the form of their physical characteristics into mysteries contained within each microcosm. In doing so, we are granted greater access into an idea of natural form when it pertains to a life-force: Plastic, conspicuously complex, delicately irridescent, if not fun in its achievement of survival. That the artist can extend these ideas into our world in such small scales – though she does make larger artworks of the same style – gives us a grasp of a way we ought to imitate Nature, as opposed to inventing new means of behavior which do not reach for the starlight.


‘Biodiversity #57’, 2014 by Hiroko Yoshimoto.
Oil on Canvas
36 × 48 in
91.4 × 121.9 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Launch LA.


Meanwhile, Ms. Hiroko Yoshimoto gives us a powerful idea of gentle chaos with her Biodiversity opening. The forms of her contours and punctuated paints exert a difficult to describe sense of balance in the efforts of achieving a dynamism yet not pandemonium to her canvases. This gives us access to self-reliant images which formulate a symposium of light which provides grace to our experiences.

‘Biodiversity #128’, 2021 by Hiroko Yoshimoto.
Oil on Panel
16 × 16 in
40.6 × 40.6 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Launch LA.


‘Biodiversity #64’, 2015 by Hiroko Yoshimoto.
Oil on Panel
16 × 16 in
40.6 × 40.6 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Launch LA.


It is this grace which is worthy of examination. That, prima facie, hazardous lines admixed with the smooth brushstrokes of solid colors creates a pseudo-maelstrom on the canvas. And yet, it is in the quietude of this commotion which provides us with an enjoyment of harmless movement. After all, is that not what virtually all plant life is? Moving not toward invading another life-force, but seeking to achieve its own ends of growth and therefore more living? So the kaleidoscopic vividness created, with a certain quality of softness, demonstrates an immense balancing of the idea of life-force altogether, providing a celebratory remark in the artists attempts. She has vigorously succeeded.


‘Biodiversity #92’, 2016 by Hiroko Yoshimoto.
Oil on Panel
92 × 86 in
233.7 × 218.4 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Launch LA.


And this “vigor” is what we seek to re-conceptualize. These works move us away from a brutish and acute action which does seek its own ends, versus one which is composed within a stream of life, bursting outward with passion motivations. More is more does not need to be avaricious, and this is testimonial to the artworks presented here.


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