Kim Mendes was born in the Caribbean on the small island of Trinidad. Throughout her youth she was constantly surrounded with colour and vivacity, often inspiring her to turn to painting as a form of release for her creative side. She developed a particular passion for texture, size and rawness, leading her to create unique wall art that indulges any interior with a modern story.
She has explored many routes within her creative career, starting by painting theatre sets to accompany the various opera acts that visited the tropics from London. This enabled her to develop her skills of painting on a much larger scale. She then went on to study architecture in Miami, which led to her opening her own highly successful practice in Trinidad.
Evidence of her architectural design training can be noted in her desire to work with simple geometric forms. The painting entitled “A Flame” concentrates on just a few elements, yet the painting is able to ‘speak’ to the viewer. Painted with a hot colour palette, the composition leads the eye to where the intense hue of the orange red glows hot in areas of solidity and opaqueness. Moving across from the square, the surface becomes broken down by darker, gestural brushstrokes, which interrupt the colour with a darker brownish black. The square here, set against a makeshift horizon, has not yet become a cube, but it is as if the artist dwells around its edges at the threshold. The shape acquires a liminal quality becoming a marker for potential space.
Mendes emphasizes the ‘story’ in her art and this can be imaginatively perceived in the pieces themselves. Following her family’s move to England, she continued work as an architectural consultant and painted merely for pleasure and at times for selected projects within the practice. Her piece, “A Crimson Glaze” evokes references to stained glass windows or the crackled glaze of the potter, yet might equally be seen as a hut or holiday home in the mountains. In “Reflections”, two modeled rectangles stand on end in a cool setting, hesitantly mirroring each other’s stance. The light brushstrokes, which model their forms indicate their interpretation as deforested trunks of palm trees, again, inviting a reading of Mendes’ work as juxtaposition of the tropical set against European Modernism.
Working as an architect has changed the way Mendes views art. She considers the works’ impact opening her mind to the way the art affects the whole room rather than focusing wholly on the piece on its own. She has come to see the popularity of her work from her clients who often ask to purchase pieces she had painted within her own home. After selling numerous pieces simply by request, Mendes has decided to take her hobby further offering her beautiful unique one off pieces at LondonArt. Not only is every piece different, but the work can also be tailored to a particular size or colour scheme. This tropical artist offers a new form of truly individual art that tells a story and allows the viewer to be stimulated and inspired.