Filled with whimsy and calculation, Cosmic Bloom at Hashimoto Contemporary brings together the vibrant practices of the Brooklyn-based duo CHIAOZZA and the Dallas-based artist Rachel Strum. Together, the new paintings, sculptures, collages, and works in between embody dynamic duality and relationality, creating unexpected representations of the world around us situated between naturally occurring and artificially manipulated.

Inspired by earthly experiences, CHIAOZZA transmutes familiar bodies into eccentric beings, inviting wonder into the ordinary. Channeling a slow, introspective, and playful lens on the natural world, the artist duo combines their shared knowledge of painting, design, and architecture to alchemize plants, flowers, trees, and bouquets into bulbous bodies with polka-dot limbs and zig-zag torsos made of paint, pulp paper, or even tree branches. Through these varied mediums, CHIAOZZA uses brilliant color and soft forms to merge “the meditative and the playful, the manufactured and the natural, the familiar and the curious,” reminding us that we can color the world however we please.

Long inspired by the cosmos, Strum’s work opens spatial expanses, exploring how invisible laws of physics order the world around us. Her abstract compositions and resin sculptures are desert-like landscapes made of neon acrylic and glitter, with mountainous, jagged peaks and dark, vacuum-like voids in between. About these works, Strum writes: “Within these compositions, energized waves of pattern and various forms of portals emerge, immersing the viewer in an atmospheric world of boundless possibilities. These elements not only serve as visual stimuli but also act as a bridge between the natural and digital realms, blurring and merging the beauty of nature with the limitless artificiality of technology.”

Blurring the line between manipulated and organic, the works in Cosmic Bloom evoke a world of subversion: a flower or ray of sunlight becomes extraordinary; known laws of physics are turned upside down. This optimistic reality allows us to think beyond a rose on Mars, a tulip on the moon—to believe in something seemingly impossible, to imagine something entirely different.

The exhibition opens in San Francisco on February 3rd with a reception 5-7 pm.