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 embodying 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.

Chiaozza is the collaborative artistic venture of American artists Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao. Founded in 2011, Chiaozza is recognized for its vibrant and whimsical creations that transcend single mediums, working over painting, sculpture, and installation inside and beyond institutional walls. Celebrating organic forms and exploring spatial relationships, Chiaozza’s practice sparks a sense of joy and curiosity in viewers that invigorates the world. Chiaozza has participated in exhibitions and created public installations across the United States in cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco. Their work has also been exhibited internationally in countries such as Switzerland, China, and Japan. Both live and work in New York City.

Incorporating various mediums into her multidisciplinary practice, Rachel Strum constructs layered images that open portals for viewers to reconsider the constructs of time and space. Using acrylic paint, aerosol paint, and poured resin, among other mediums, Strum creates depth within an abstract space on the canvas, exploring how light, color, and materiality collaborate to shape our visual world. Blending her constructed plains of measured geometric shapes and organic forms with bright, electrifying colors, Strum’s work prompts us to consider the beautiful contradictions in the universe that surrounds us. Strum's work has been showcased nationwide in exhibitions in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and New Orleans, among other cities. Raised in New York City, she currently lives and works in Dallas, Texas.