Kelly Inouye: Fantasy Island

April 8- June 3

state is pleased to present Fantasy Island, a solo show by San Francisco-based artist Kelly Inouye. The exhibition features an immersive room-sized installation along with a series of large-scale and smaller figurative works inspired by the premise of Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg’s popular television series. Though working on a larger scale than ever before, Inouye returns to her signature watercolor style with a palette of individually developed and mixed paints, all produced by hand over the last year. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in San Francisco. The opening reception for Fantasy Island will be held on Saturday, April 8 from 6-8pm.

Airing weekly on ABC from 1977 to 1984, Fantasy Island, the television show, invited visitors to live out their wildest dreams on an island created specifically for that purpose. The show’s cautionary tales of excess, ego and desire - themes ripe for the Reagan era - offer an interesting parallel to our 21st century experience. Inouye's works both reflect these parallels and highlight a time when network television dominated the pop-culture landscape. In contrast to today's personalized "fantasy islands" accessed in the palms of our hands, social media’s fabricated realities, and choose-your-own-adventure style news, this exhibition draws the viewer into a contemplative space on the nature of representation, escapism and nostalgia.

Inouye’s large-scale paintings, luminous at certain moments of day, abstract in the close-up, loosely realistic at a distance, populate the gallery with characters and motifs from the television show, offering kitschy wisdom, cautionary moralistic prescriptions for living, and a reminder not to forget your dreams.

Kelly Inouye lives and works in San Francisco, California. Her paintings and drawings have been featured in exhibitions nationwide including Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York and Interface Gallery and Southern Exposure in the Bay Area. She has completed public art projects with the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and she is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute (MFA 2008) and the University of California at San Diego in La Jolla (BA 1998). Kelly also runs Irving Street Projects, an alternative exhibition space and studio residency program located in the Outer Sunset district of San Francisco.


state is a visual arts exhibition space in the Mission District of San Francisco that exhibits contemporary art with an emphasis on Bay Area artists and project-based artwork. state is owned and directed by Danielle Smith and Kimberly Verde of FRAMEWORK.