LAUNCH Gallery is proud to present two solo shows of local Los Angeles artists, Kaoru Mansour and Ana Rodriguez. These mid-career veterans optimized the past 14 months to examine themselves and their art practices through a lens that honored their past and provided hope and inspiration for the future. This period of relative physical isolation proved to be a productive time of reflection and dreams of a better tomorrow that them to present these exhibitions.
Kaoru Mansour presents IKUZE!, a Japanese slang term that translates to ‘Let’s go!’. Kaoru is ready to share this new series of paintings and drawings with enthusiasm and pride. Much of the inspiration for these works began with recycled canvases, panels and frames that were easily available in her storage during lock-down. Kaoru’s whimsical imagination and steady hand then brought these works to their final realization.
“I feel a strong connection to this work. I start with the face and the pieces soon take on a life of their own and create stories for me that I do not expect.” Explains Mansour.
Growing up in a small village in Hyogo prefecture, Japan, Kaoru Mansour was always interested in creating things from scratch. Her earliest memory of making art is gluing heart-shaped cutouts to the walls of her parents' house at the age of seven. She studied the sciences in college but dropped out after 2 years and began working in graphic design while singing at local nightclubs in Kobe, eventually earning her a contract with RCA records in Japan. Once her contract ended in 1986, she moved to Southern California where she soon became a part of the experimental music scene. Despite her musical endeavors, she maintained a passion for creating visual art and enrolled in classes at the Otis Art Institute. She has worked as full time, freelance visual artist since 1994.