Kimmy Quillin's 10OX offers a modern visual interpretation of the Zen classic story Ten Bulls or Ten Ox Herding Pictures, which describes the path of enlightenment or the path of the bodhisattva. Quillin began her series 10OX unintentionally, spreading the ends of paint tubes onto pages of an ongoing sketchbook. As she removed the gridlines of tape to reveal the clean, grounded geometries, the full series of 10OX unfolded before her eyes.
This sense of delight in discovery was to become a central theme as the series continued to take shape. Her original two abstractions grew in number to seven, then ten and finally twelve paintings. As they unfolded, she realized that each painting corresponded abstractly to the steps on the path of enlightenment outlined in the archetypal story Ten Ox Herding Pictures. Written by 12th century Zen poet Kuòān Shīyuǎn, Ten Ox traces the changing relationship between the bull/mind/ego (represented in 10OX as black-brown) and the Self. As an installation, the series becomes a walking meditation that reaches beyond its component paintings to guide the viewer along this path of ultimate transformation and transcendence.
Rather than rely on this narrative as a crutch, Quillin uses it as an opportunity to present ten unique perspectives on the interplay of line and color, warmth and coolness, space and engagement. Each canvas maintains its own precise balance and harmony while contributing to the progression of the parable. The dynamic geometric figures sometimes contrast sharply with each other and at other times lean towards and accept one another. The result is an overall harmony that plays out in each canvas in subtly different ways.
Kimmy Quillin has been wearing glasses since the fourth grade. In 2006 she moved to New York, a busy city more easily taken in without the crystallizing focus of corrective lenses. In 2008, she ran out of contacts and went for a year without seeing the world with 20/20 clarity. Her paintings echo this color field version of reality which she frequently prefers. Kimmy has explored both art and Eastern philosophy from an early age and is excited to marry her two interests through her most recent series of paintings, 10OX. Kimmy lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.