I am intent on representing things that are real, but look like they could be abstract or look like something that wouldn’t be found in the real world. I am interested in the unexpected compositions of naturally-forming images; such as the layers of sediment that build up in stains, or the random-but-balanced way that debris arranges itself on the sidewalk. Images like these imply that art is a world contained in a universe larger than we are aware of. That universe itself can create art, whether or not its materials are self-aware.

For example, the sauce and leftover food bits from a takeout container form a colorful pattern that could be a striking abstract painting. This idea is what my oil painting series “Pressed Flowers” was created to depict. I poured liquid acrylic into used takeout containers so that it would create a translucent skin with the pattern preserved inside and then painted its portrait. As another example: upon noticed that a dried green tea bag, once unfolded, reveals a subtle garden of colors and shapes, I painted “Green Tea” as a first attempt at illustrating it.

In both of the painting examples provided, I use exaggerated light and atmosphere to allude to the visceral quality these images have for me as they seem to transcend reality in their real-yet-unreal state. I am working to integrate textiles into my paintings and drawings because they too have a visceral quality. Textiles have an intimate relationship with humans. They mimic human skin by continually being wrapped around our bodies, providing a cover for nakedness, shelter from the weather, and personalized aesthetic characteristics of outward appearance. They are not conventionally thought of as drawing tools, but they could be. Their basic element, thread, acts as a drawn line. Many threads together form a plane which lends itself to formal composition by creating shapes in the third dimension which can be solidified in the second, in a flat image. Since the things I am trying to represent are tactile and sometimes edible or smellable, integrating textiles into my work gives them an intuitive and relatable quality.

A cloud-filled sky has that fantastically realistic quality as well. When people look at clouds, they pick out one that looks like a rabbit or one that looks like a dinosaur even though they know that what they are really looking at is the sky. That sky defies pre-supposed drawing rules as well. Because it is so vast, a backlit cloud can be in the same sky as one lit from above, and things that are in the foreground can look like they should be in the background.Someone could build an entire other world in their imagination based on a cloud-filled sky, since the vastness of the sky suggests an infinite realm. I chose to use colored pencil, cloth, oil paint, and embroidery to depict this idea because their colors, patterns and soft quality make the drawing tactile and ethereal, alluding to the metaphysical connection one has with the sky and the infinite reality it represents.



Annieo Klaas grew up in Dakar, Senegal and now lives in Seattle, Washington. She received a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts (CCA) in 2015. Selected solo exhibitions include: "Memory Cloth" for Vignettes Weekender, curated by Sierra Stinson and Serrah Russel, Seattle (2016), and "What You Scoop Up of Me", curated by Weston Jandacka, Glass Box Gallery, Seattle (2015). Selected group exhibitions include: “Behaving Differently” Joshua Thompson and Elizabeth Arzani at Plank Gallery, Seattle (2018), "Utopia Neighborhood Club", Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Seattle (2017), "Folding Reverberation :: Unfolded Resonance", curated by Chelsea Rodino, Generations, Seattle ( 2017). Her work is in the Fred Hutch Cornish Collection as well as other personal collections across the US and in Senegal and  was commissioned for a collaborative outdoor mural on permanent display at InCity Properties' 422 Summit Ave E in Seattle, WA.