Li Jin is known for his sharp, witty and often irreverent observations of people, food, wine, and places, taken from his travels around the world. His colors are lush and vivid, his brushstrokes virtuosic yet nuanced, his subjects provocative, erotic and irrepressible, captured in thousands of visual blogs.
In the Spring of 2017 Li Jin embarked on a whirlwind gustatory tour of the United States, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and New York. His was a disciplined tour de force of fast food and feasts bracketed by stretches each day of painting, while memories were still fresh and the taste of good food still lingered. Los Angeles offered a smorgasbord of food delights, Las Vegas dealt many hands of fun and luscious women, New York a jambalaya of delis, snowstorms and the loss of his passport which delayed his return home but enabled him to experience once again, the gaiety of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, where in 2013 he discovered the joys and wickedness of the color green.
In this menu of forty paintings of exuberant ink on paper and two enameled bronze sculptures, Li Jin’s eye, ribald wit, and prodigious appetite are displayed in images of elaborate meals and fast food revelries, encounters with ‘beautiful foreigners’ , well dressed pets, and a snowy Central Park. He appears in many of the paintings, often with his cell phone constantly in use to WeChat his latest food discovery or to record a scene he plans to revisit with ink and brush.
Amidst Li Jin’s vibrant feast of colors, forms and Rabelaisian activities there is a longing for the quieter, domestic pleasures of home and family. Beneath the revelry lurks a weariness, perhaps even melancholy as Li Jin with a vibrant but delicate brush seeks a balance between the spirit and the flesh.