Just outside Joshua Tree, you’ll find artist and business owner Kime (pronounced Kimmy) Buzzelli in The End – her vibrant and magnetic shop that feels more like a living work of art than it does a storefront.
A well-established painter with a background in fashion and costume design, Kime is a true creative who channels her artistic prowess into every aspect of her life. Born in Ohio, Kime moved to California after college to work as a vintage clothes buyer. The position came naturally with the experience of opening her first shop, Blue Piano and having spent summers attending Parsons’ fashion courses. As a buyer, she spent time painting, sewing costumes, and styling photo shoots. Her time in this hands-on and highly creative position inspired her to open her second shop, Show Pony in Echo Park.. From there, Kime landed her dream job as a costume designer on film and television sets working on shows like 90210 and Awkward.
While managing her store and career, Kime continued to make art full-time. She was picked up by art agent Marsea Goldberg of New Image Art who connected her with collectors, landed her creative projects with Urban Decay, Vans, Microsoft, and included her paintings in exhibitions at Art Basel Miami.
After 12 years in Los Angeles, Kime is now in Yucca Valley where she continues to paint and owns her third shop, The End. The space is home to an eclectic collection of vintage and designer clothes, jewelry, books, tarot decks, and unique works made by local artists including Kime herself.
Bright, bold, and free, her paintings feature powerful and unapologetic women in layered and dreamlike scenes. Though seemingly disparate, she seamlessly coalesces various technical approaches including figurative painting, text, and abstract gestures. Like her shop, the paintings are a perfect summation of Kime’s interests – her love of fashion, her appreciation of femininity, and the freedom that comes with creativity.
I sat down with Kime to talk about her business, her artistic practice, and the community she’s built-in California’s high desert.
[Calder Anderson] What drives your art practice? Why do you make the work you do?
[Kime Buzzelli] The real drive comes from the magical meditative state that occurs when I truly let go and allow myself to relax while I make layers and layers of imagery. This zone isn't always easy to get, but when I eventually sink in, it's like I'm locked in a trance and things come easily. It’s really special to tap into this zone and allow myself to be a conduit for ideas and imagery to flow through.
[CA] I love that your paintings articulate solely feminine characters. Why focus on females?
[KB] Women are exciting and powerful. I am constantly inspired and amazed by their ability to transform. They never seem to bore me as subject matter. I suppose they radiate the energy that I want to replicate.
[CA] You own such a rad shop that feels like a work of art itself, how did the shop come to be?
[KB] Well thank you! We have been a shop here in the desert since 2012. I owned Show Pony in Echo Park for nearly ten years and hadn’t planned on opening another brick-and-mortar shop, but it just sort of happened. When I moved to the desert, I knew that having a shop was a great way to meet new people and be creative. I wanted to make a fun destination spot for people to see things they normally don't encounter while traveling. I stock the shop with pretty unique items. If someone is looking for a hand-painted garment or bedazzled vintage cape, then they’re in luck!
[CA] You support a lot of other female makers in your shop, can you tell us more about the community you've built in Yucca Valley?
[KB] We do! I always seek to support female makers and carry a lot of local artists and designers in the shop. We have Sierra Keylin’s jewelry, Mary Evan’s tarot decks, and hand-dyed garments from Cynthia Merino – to name a few. We have such an incredible female community out here in the desert. It is nice to be someplace where women raise other women.
[CA] That’s powerful—, women raising women.
Photos by Penelope Valentine
© 2020-2021 withitgirl. All rights reserved. We appreciate your feedback!