This is a whole wall!
This is a whole wall! "Kasamas Rules The World!" by Nikita Ares at Glass Box Gallery. Jasmyne Keimig
Last year, Seattle-based artist Nikita Ares adorned both white-walled galleries and blank front doors with her molten, colorful, abstract compositions. And this year, she's back with a new exhibition Chada! at Glass Box Gallery, warming up our drenched, shivering Seattle souls with her bright and immersive landscapes that are practically visual permutations of "!!!!!!!!!!!" In an Instagram post, Ares says that the title of her show, "Chada!," is a term uniquely used by Kagay-anons, people from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, her hometown. It means "wow/nice." The 25+ paintings and drawings in the gallery embody that exclamation. When we last talked in early 2019, Ares told me that she wanted to go bigger with her pieces and "Kasamas Rule The World!" is the biggest drawing she's worked on to date.

She has said that with her work she's not doing landscapes, rather environments that slurp up the viewer, entrenching them into its bombastic and energetic space. "I try to make you not only see but experience and feel all these different things with different components: dimension, lines, and color," Ares told me at the time. And with this massive, larger-than-life piece, I felt I could truly take a seat in the vibrant oil pastel and colored pencil drawing. It's hard to know where to look! The orange screams at me while the blue makes me want to float away; the red encourages me to make out with it while the yellow tells me to calm the fuck down. When I stepped back into the mist of the night, I felt recharged. The rest of the work in the show is unmissable—Chada! is up at Glass Box Gallery until March 14.

A close-up!
A close-up! JK

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