Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Studio Visit with Katherine Keltner by Nikki Schiro

I walked into Katherine Keltner’s studio and was immediately confronted with plush/candy pinks and fleshy tones. Abstract mixed media artworks with subtle forms that tested my imagination; I wondered what they could be.  Something wrapped in plastic? Body Parts? Maps? 

Katherine’s process begins from photographs. She zooms in to the point of pixilation. She gets so close as to almost get inside it. Freeing the final image from the confines of what it was part of, she starts to play with what it is. She explores and refines existing forms with knife cuts and paint strokes, as well as brings new forms into the existing dialogue, I remarked there were forms in the new work that resembled photographic references of shadows from tree leaves on the ground that Katherine had hanging up in her studio for a tART studio visit I attended in 2008.

Camille, Katherine’s daughter, who was also in pink, fluttered around a large table of inks, paper works and a few snacks. The works on paper were free and decisive experiments, sometimes using the photograph; other times just using the actual forms that attracted her. Some I found profoundly interesting. We spoke about the challenge artists face, getting the rawness of the studies and drawings into the main work.

Finally, there were 5 new studies for paintings she was going to realize in the next couple of months. One of these paintings formally resembled the composition of the painting Yasmin Spiro was most attracted to in my studio visit, so in going with this chain, that is what I picked. As Yasmin had given me the option to show additional new work relating to her suggestion, I suggested the same to Katherine.