Kate Klingbeil took some time away from her residency to catch up with 4%ers Curator, Rachel Ralph as we patiently wait for this year’s highly anticipated 2nd Annual 4%ers group exhibition. Over the past couple of months Kate has been traveling all around America, staying and working at various residencies in the east coast. Check out some of the new work Kate has been busy creating the past couple months and read her interview with Rachel below! Stay tuned for the opening reception of the second annual 4%ers group exhibition curated by Rachel Ralph coming to Athen B. Gallery this August 13th, 2016 in Downtown Oakland.
Alexandra Levasseur | Andrea Wan | Angela Fox
Anne Harris | Beryl Fine | Erin Riley | Hanna Yata
Ileana Tejada | Kate Klingbeil | Kit King | Lauren YS
Marina Capdevila | Meryl Pataky | Nicomi Nix Turner
Noel Morical | Rebecca Morgan | Sheryo
Stacey Rozich | Winnie Truong
In an effort to understand the "hysterical" minds of this year’s group of 4%ERS, I got the chance to ask them each a few questions on themselves, their work, and the art world from their perspective. With such a diverse group of artists, I wanted to draw some connections, create some continuity, and just see what these artists have to say. No one ever shattered a glass ceiling without asking any questions first. - 4%ers Curator, Rachel Ralph
Check out Rachel's recent interviews for the upcoming 4%ers group exhibition with - Lauren YS | Beryl Fine | Alexandra Levasseur | Kit King | Hannah Yata
Be sure to join us for the opening reception of the second annual 4%ers group exhibition curated by Rachel Ralph coming to Athen B. Gallery this August 13th, 2016 at 7pm. To be added to the collectors preview going out this coming Monday contact firstname.lastname@example.org
RR | Name/Location/Age
KK | Kate Klingbeil / Oakland / 26
Have you ever been called hysterical?
Yes. When I was in high school the word was thrown around by people close to me while I was going through some mental health issues.
How do you feel being a woman has affected your art making?
It's hard to say, since I'm not able to step outside of my own body. I'm painting to understand and subvert the power and pressure that society holds over our heads as women. My work is born through my own direct experience within a woman's body and how others respond to or project onto my body. I paint what I know and what I don't know. I paint to understand this world and its contradictions. It's important to know that the work is being created by a woman. I don't want to be identified as a "female artist" but being a woman is essential to the context of the work.
How do you feel being a woman has affected your art career?
As a woman making figurative work celebrating emotion, I'm on the fringes of an art world that rewards masculinity and non emotional decisions. I am more interested in intuition and emotion than intellect. I'm not interested in work that is cold. I want people to respond to the emotional vulnerability of the work. I'm receiving support from people who connect with and respect multifaceted, powerful women, complete with contradictions. A man couldn't make this work. It would be a very different conversation.
Sometimes it feels like some people think that I'm inviting sexual advances because I paint naked women and people making love. It's frustrating, but that's the life of a woman regardless of whether or not she paints naked people. Women's bodies are often assumed to be public property.
Do you think your creative process has anything to do with you being female?
The content of the work, absolutely. It all starts from my experience within this body.
Your work is often very sexual and depicts bodies in flowing, morphing states where you can’t quite tell where one ends and another begins. Where did this formal strategy come from? Is it strictly formal or is it influenced by an interest in sexual theory?
It's neither. I'm interested in feminist theory but it's not consciously on my mind when I am making the work. Theory is important but I want the work to resonate on an instinctual level. I move fluidly through mediums in order to see different sides of the same story. It's all an investigation of the space between people, the way we communicate with our bodies, power dynamics and control, physical signifiers for mental states, the forming and disintegration of relationships. Sex and nudity becomes a signifier for emotion and vulnerability. I want to make objects and paintings that feel warm and fluid. The work celebrates movement, emotional intelligence and questions female stereotypes.
Do you use your paintings to work through our own emotions and personal situations?
Totally. A painting begins with an idea, and then I do the work to unpack that idea. Truths are revealed to me as the work gets made, and I react to each move or mistake just as people react to one another in personal or social situations. The work is sometimes about regaining power, but I deeply respect a process that doesn't allow me to have full control. Most of painting is reacting to or celebrating the mistakes, both in the process and in life. I have a lot of anxiety. Making work is the only time my brain slows down enough to think without that anxiety.
I am working with my own direct experience in the hopes that someone else can feel less alone. The work isn't about me, but I am using my own experiences as a jump-off point or a tool to connect with people. I paint to provide a moment of relief, both to myself and the person looking.
Do you find painting and making work to be cathartic?
For me, making is the best tool for processing anything. I think with my hands. I also find destroying work to be cathartic and healthy.
Your paintings often employ methods that are more similar to cake decorating than to painting itself. For me, this draws a very domestic connection between a woman’s “place in the kitchen” and a man’s “place in the exhibition.” Why did you start using cake decorating tools? Are you drawing in this history as well as that of painting?
Yes, there is a perceived element of domesticity in the way I apply the paint, and I don't want to dismiss that, but I am more interested in the intersection of food and sex. I want the viewer to feel a hunger in multiple ways. I want to evoke the idea of a cake or deviled egg while at the same time inviting a carnal, lustful wanting. I'm intrigued by the paint's ability to hover between edible and toxic, in the way that a relationship might walk the same line.
Your compositions are usually very wild rather than controlled, they almost exude hysteria. How do you go about making them? Do you plan it all out or work with it as you go?
Actually they are very controlled. The work starts with a sketch, or a gesture and naturally evolves from there. I'm trying to trust more. Nature is wild, orderly with the illusion of chaos. The work is controlled in the same way a garden is maintained. I build fences for the plants to grow inside. Sometimes they grow where they are supposed to, and sometimes they drop seeds and bloom unexpectedly. Then, I choose to let something grow or pull it from the dirt. I will weed parts of a painting and water others. I am the master of my own world as it exists in the studio.