Sunday, August 10, 2008

Art of the Samurai Sword

While on a recent trip to Sun Valley, we visited our favorite gallery: the Anne Reed Gallery. There were two show running, both featuring artists of Japanese descent. One in particular, a half-Japanese, half-Russian artist named Miya Ando Stanoff attracted our attention with her beautiful abstract work on sheets of steel. Stanoff uses a combination of pigments, encaustics, heat, lacquer and various surface treatments (like sanding) to achieve ethereal, moody, landscape-like pieces. Due to the surface properties of steel, each piece changes with the light or viewing angle. The dark areas become the light areas, and vice versa. It is very captivating and magical.

She mentions in an interview that her ancesters were swordsmakers, and thus the medium resonates for her almost as a legacy. We were reminded of the work of Rothko, and indeed her work can be interpreted as either very solemn, or as beautifully tranquil, depending upon your glass half-empty/glass half-full perspective. Needless to say, we purchased three of her pieces we felt complemented one another. I'll post photos of these works shortly, but in the meantime, you can see examples on Stanoff's website at

1 comment:

Stacie Raddatz said...

Honored to be the 1st post! Megalomania- had to look that one up, and yes, these were my reservations also. Glad you got over it and are sharing your thoughts. Look forward to reading all your posts. Miya's works are so peaceful. Most show me landscapes. I like her unique medium.