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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, May 9, 2004

Figure forms are central

 •  Nowell's pint-size art captivating, amusing
 •  Big risks taken on tiny works
 •  13 Island artists partake in creative game of painting shared canvases
 •  Art Calendar

By Victoria Gail-White
Special to The Advertiser

Marcia Pasqua's untitled conte crayon is among the works displayed in "ba da bing, ba da bum!"

Shuzo Uemoto and Kay Mura

'ba da bing, ba da bum!'

11 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays, through May 21

Café Che Pasta

1001 Bishop St.


Figure forms are central in trio's work

It seems perfectly fitting that the title for this show, which hangs in an Italian restaurant, is based on a famous phrase from the popular television series "The Sopranos." However, the twist in the title from "boom" to "bum" comes from the fact that many of the 41 pieces in this show are tastefully based on the back views of human figure studies.

Kandi Everett, Marcia Pasqua and Maile Yawata print at the Honolulu Printmakers studio at the Art Center at Linekona. Nine months ago, they decided to do a show together and to have fun in the process. Noticing that each one of them happened to be using a lot of human forms, in various ways in their work, the theme for the show evolved.

Everett is prolific — so much so that her work presently appears in four art exhibits. A fellow artist referred to her as an "art machine," an accurate endearment. Everett feels that her figure drawings are her strong point as an artist; also not surprising considering that she draws on bodies as a tattoo artist.

Her work is narrative, mysterious, humorous and sometimes dark and dramatic.

"I am a keen observer of everything and I have a good sense of humor," she says. "I laugh at everything and don't hold a lot of things sacred. In my titles, I make fun of a lot of things."

In "Gather ye rosebuds ... " a torso figure with legs has a hand as a head with a leaf sprouting from a polished toenail and a branch emerging from a high heel. Strings attach around the figure from both sides, pulling it in both directions.

Everett enjoys the twists and pulls in life. She has been drawing on transparent vellum paper ever since she got into tattooing. "It is a great way for me to work because I can turn the paper around and backwards," she says.

Pasqua's spongy-looking nudes seem boneless. There is a softness about these three-dimensional-looking monoprints that makes you want to squeeze them, literally. And that isn't surprising because Pasqua teaches a six-week noncredit sculpture class at the University of Hawai'i. In explaining how she achieves this effect, Pasqua pointed to "Untitled" No. 21. "I do a cold first print," she says. "There is still ink left over on the plate so I make a ghost print. This work is the result of layer upon layer of ghost prints. The ones that have that really fuzzy-prickly look are actually ghost prints with up to 20 layers of ink on them." For her matrix, Pasqua uses a sketch from one of her figure-drawing classes. She works in an earth-tone palette of soft sepia, red oxides, yellows and whites. "When you start layering those different values and colors, you really start to see where the form of the figure is," she says.

Yawata has a mixture of monoprints, mixed-media works and drawings in the exhibit. Her "Thousand Island Undressing" is a good example of her absurd sense of humor. In this work, a nude is surrounded by splashes of what looks like Thousand Island dressing.

But there is also a sensitive, thoughtful side to her colorful images. In "Drifter's Heart," a figure surfs on the water, joined by a floating human heart. There is a stitched wound in the sky and sense of aloneness.

According to Yawata, this show involved input from many local printmakers. "We weren't focusing heavily on making this body of work," she says. "It was more about our love of doing figurative art, and we wanted to have fun doing it."

"Making art is a humbling experience," she says. "I value humor. If I am not having fun doing this, it's not worth it."

Yawata also is working on a mural with fifth-graders from Kapolei Elementary School.