Ethereal realms, the temptation of perdition, and the ecstasy of Purgatory make up the light and shadows of L.S. King’s artistic vison. And though the Virginia-based artist has learned to live with the grey areas, her visual motif is an intricate balance of black and white, and occasional secondary colors.
King’s art explores the intersection of photography and printmaking, including serigraphy, photopolymer gravure, and piezography. When describing the part of her personality channeled into her images, she chooses descriptors such as meditative but dissonant, invisible but ever present, optimistic yet somber, and resilient with tinges of fragility.
The Felix Schoeller Awards committee in Germany described King’s recent series of black and white photographs depicting Virginia’s Wilderness Road as cerebral and directly affecting the hippocampus, straight out of the 1950s. And in fact, psychology and consciousness are a factor in King’s work. Though she holds a Bachelor of Fine Art with a concentration in photography from Shepherd University, her Master of Arts from Atlantic University is in transpersonal studies, with a nod toward transpersonal psychology. Her thesis, titled What the Toast Said: Visualizations of Body Wisdom, explored self-hypnosis and image making, which culminated in a series of digital drawings and photo collage.
As a visual storyteller, King gravitates to subjects that have a historical context and considers herself a modern Pictorialist. Her series have included subjects such as moving landscapes between Maryland and Alabama; witchcraft and genetic memory; transportation in Germany; memory and dementia; a botanical of flowers found in Pulaski, Virginia; historic sites in East Tennessee; remains of a WWII training base in Solomons, Maryland; the John Wilkes Booth escape trail; and men. Her early work incorporated hand-coloring techniques and oil paint.
Galleries, museums, and art centers throughout the East Coast, Colorado, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas have exhibited King's work, including solo shows at the College of Southern Maryland’s Tony Hungerford Gallery, Glencoe Museum, Glenview Mansion Gallery, the Green Heron Gallery, Main Street Gallery, Montpelier Cultural Arts Center, University of Charleston Art Gallery and Villa Julie College Gallery. Internationally she has exhibited and presented work in Canada, Germany, and had work accepted into London’s Bankside Gallery.
Adam Finkelston, editor of the Hand Magazine, once described one of King’s award-winning landscapes “as light as a feather. The clouds that dominate the scene lift up our eyes and our hearts to heaven, transcending earthy pleasures for those of the spirit.”