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international painting annual 3 exhibition-in-print
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Laura Hagihara
Chicago, Illinois


detail image


I paint realistic images of people, objects, and environments with implied narratives. In planning an image, I seek out ways to marginally alter reality in order to satisfy my need for psychological tension. Light and shadow play an important role in dealing with the unknown, the hidden, and the idea that things are seldom what they seem. A painting is most exciting to me when it is beautifully rendered, convincing, and rouses slight unease.

The image for this painting came to me slowly and in different versions before I knew what it was about. I was living in New York City at the time of the September 11th attacks. Nearly seven years later, removed in time and distance from New York, I found that the intensity of emotion related to that time period required some kind of catharsis.

Reference to the event had to be very subtle. The setting takes place during the moments after the planes hit and the first tower had fallen. Light and shadow serve as metaphor for universal themes that become personalized and specific through the viewer's interpretation. I also wanted the painting to comprise notions of vitality, beauty, and strength, which contradict the dehumanization of the event and persist beyond profound loss.



born: 1971, Lexington, Kentucky


Eastern Kentucky University, B.A.

selected group shows

Elmhurst Art Museum, National Art Premiere 2010, Elmhurst, IL, 2010
Coalition Gallery, Coalition Gallery Opening Exhibition, Chicago, IL, 2009
33 Collective Gallery, 4th Annual National Self-Portrait Exhibition, Chicago, IL, 2008


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