Born: 1981, Taipei, Taiwan. Education: 2005 Art Center College of Design, Pasadena CA, BA
Painter Tiffany Liu has crafted a compelling and absorbing visual world—a playful and sometimes macabre phantasmagoria filtered through the eyes of an adult artist who demonstrates that her adoption of a "childlike" point-of-view is never a "childish" one. Liu has been surrounded by art since she was old enough to walk. Both of her parents are artists, and she recalls that much of her youth was spent staring at paintings in the family-owned art gallery/studio as she learned to draw. At the age of six, her options for a future career had already been narrowed down to three choices: an artist, a singer or an astronaut. In the end, Liu opted for art.
A confessed exemplar of the Peter Pan Syndrome, and happily ensconced in a personal “Never-Neverland,” Liu has never lost her childlike spirit. The artist estimates that approximately 50% of her waking existence has been spent in “one big daydream.” Liu’s work reflects the visions and fantasies of her imagination. Her canvas is her playground. A wash in rainbow hues and populated with a veritable circus of cute (and freaky) creatures, her candy-colored acrylic paintings are at once strangely familiar (they reference the visual style of vintage storybooks, board game graphics, and nursery décor), and oddly jarring in their often audacious and mysterious subject matter. Liu's are booby-trapped images wherein things are seldom as they seem, and there are often disturbing—and disturbingly humorous—complexities lying just below their colorful surfaces.
Yet, the apparent disconnect between visual style and subject matter finds synthesis in Liu's assured and masterful rendering of her strange little world. Liu employs a Baskin-Robbins pallet, and paints in broad flat planes of color juxtaposed with skillfully modeled forms. Liu's paintings are distinguished by their integrity of design, and mastery of technique, and these qualities add a transcendent aura to her themes and subjects which, in the hands of a lesser artist, might seem crude or vulgar. When you look at one of Liu's works, you're instantly seduced by the impeccable surface, and totally taken in by the pop-referenced nostalgia. Only after you note the details of her strikingly personal iconography do you sense the subversion of the surface, and the very true and personal experiences and feelings they might reflect.
Tiffany has been teaching art to small children for over seven years. These youngsters have given her great insight to the narrative themes of her paintings. Her Fine Art and Pop influences include Surrealism, Gothic Art, Folk Art, and vintage Little Golden Books, but she feels her greatest inspiration comes from her students. “A child’s perception of the world is a great thing,” says Liu. “When they draw they interact within their drawings like an organic, growing story. They follow their gut instincts, with a no-holds-barred uninhibited approach to art-making.”She continues, “They sometimes don’t even consider their work ‘art;’ for them, it’s a lot more like playtime. I am fascinated by their development; not only on an aesthetic level, but also on a subconscious psychological level. When they draw it’s this big rainstorm of thoughts, emotions, and ideas. They are my little heroes.”
Telling stories and creating worlds where anything and everything can happen is Liu’s forte. She loves playing with ambiguities and contradictions. She is adept at tackling things that she fears and rendering them affable and accessible; creating characters that speak to her, and making art that allows viewers to feel as though they have stepped into her dream world. Yet, there is often troubling complexity in Liu's lollypop world. Often recalled as idyllic, Liu's vision of childhood reflects a reality in which things often go awry--but in the most playful and colorful way. If some works hint at sexual awakening tinged with corruption and consumption, others treat themes of a search for love with sweet subtlety, humor and mystery. Liu's non-stop visual invention and the fecundity of her imagination are staggering. She fills her paintings with visual puns, and even double-puns. The amazing, floating, colorful artistic world of Tiffany Liu is one you'll want to visit again and again.
2010 Spokeart, San Franscisco (October): Bad Dads Art Show: Tribute to the films of Wes Anderson
2010 CoproNason, Santa Monica, Los Angles (October): Bon Appetite Group Show
2010 Gallery Nucleus, Alhambra, Los Angeles (September): Sweet Streets 2 Group Show
2010 Swoon Gallery, Silverlake, Los Angeles (August): Get the Lead Out II Group Show
2010 Thinkspace Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles (August): Love Conquers All Group Show
2010 Distinction Gallery, Escondido, (August): Jest in Time Phylogenesis of Clowns Group Show
2010 Sea Shepard Conservation Society, Riverside (July): Sea no Evil Show!
2010 Rothick Art Haus Gallery, Anaheim, Orange County (July): Gob Magazine Studio Issue and Group Show
2010 Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, Orange County (June): 100 Artists see Satan Group Show
2010 WWA Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles (June): I Believe in Unicorns Group Show
2010 Thinkspace Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles (April): Hunt And Gather Group Show and Book Signing
2009 CoproNason Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles (December): Solo Show: Gold Dust
2009 Nucleus, Alhambra, Los Angeles (December): Power By Numbers Show
2009 Corey Helford Gallery, Culver City, Los Angeles (December): Multi-Plane Show
2009 GhettoGloss Gallery, Los Angeles (September): The Human Pyramids Artist Collective Show
2009 ExhibitAGallery, Los Angeles (August): Bipolar Show
2009 Nucleus, Alhambra, Los Angeles (August): Sweet Streets Show
2009 CoproNason Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles (July): Monsters Show
2009 London Miles Gallery, Notting Hill, UK (July): Candy Coated Canvas Show
2009 Rivet Gallery, Columbus, Ohio (July): We’ll be back... after these messages.
2009 Subtext Gallery, Comi-Con, San Diego (July): Meanwhile... at the Hall of Justice.
2009 Atticus Gallery, Barcelona, Spain (January): Nobody walks in LA.
2008 Corey Helford Gallery, Culver City, Los Angeles (July): Solo Show: Life, Death and the Imbetween
2007 Project Gallery, Culver City, Los Angeles (December): Christmas Show.
2007 Subtext, San Diego, Los Angeles (November): Kokeshi Show.
2007 Gallery 1988, San Fransisco (August): Back for Seconds.
2007 Corey Helford Gallery, Culver City, Los Angeles (August): Literartistry.
2007 CoproNason Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles (May): Solo Show: It was all a dream.
2007 Black Maria Gallery, Glendale, Los Angeles (March): Cult of Childhood.
2007 Corey Helford Gallery, Culver City, Los Angeles (Febuary): Paint by Number’s Show.
2006 Wax Poetic Gallery, Burbank, Los Angeles (November): Christmas Show.
2006 Corey Helford Gallery, Culver City, Los Angeles (October): Mommy, Mommy! Theres an Artist Under My Bed Show.
2006 Thinkspace, Silverlake, Los Angeles (September): Picks Of the Harvest Show
2006 Black Maria Gallery, Glendale, Los Angeles (June): Group Show
2006 Bamboo Lane Gallery, China Town, Los Angeles (April): Near Reality Four - Man Show
2006 Gallery Nucleus, Alhambra, Los Angeles (March): Unicorn Show
2006 Gallery ThinkSpace, Silverlake, Los Angeles (March):Traimese Show