Tryna Kick It?

Detail of 'Tryna Kick It?' by Nikita Ares

Nikita Ares’ paintings are a study in connections between energy and feeling, using unapologetic strokes and sweeping gesture to create images that tip toward abstraction while alluding to experiences, memory and place.

“My paintings are expressions of my essence at the moment,” says Ares. “When I start with a color, I react, then generate a mark-making process. I find that after creating these marks, I start to tell myself my own story, combining language. This painting particularly described my energy as excited and lively, as that was the piece I created before visiting my home country, the Philippines, last summer. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and I wanted to embody the thrill of finally coming back home after five years of living in America.”

Abracadabra! is on view at Joe Bar Nov. 8–Dec. 10.