Katie Wild

Born in: 1989, New London, Connecticut USA

Lives in: Newton, Massachusetts USA

Media: Painting, Illustration, Installation, Mixed media, Collage, Drawing

Describe your work in 3 words: Narrative identity politics

See More Work:  https://www.katiewild.com

Going Green - Oil and acrylic on insulation foam board App. 36 x 75 in.

"We all put on facades and are pushed to conform to ideals of the society around us. My work focuses on series of narrative figures in oil or acrylic, usually with mixed media, on various surfaces. My series, 'Color Buy Number' uses color theory and symbolism in life-sized self-portrait installations."

What themes does your work involve?
Each series is different. In 'Color Buy Number', I have envisioned myself as the heroine or victim of constrained and perplexing narratives. These color-driven alter egos directly and un-apologetically impact the viewer’s space due to the lifesize scale of their cutout installations. Mimetic oil paint renderings combined with found or constructed three-dimensional elements demand viewers to look more closely at the details of these self-portraits to decipher the truth of the artifice.
Describe your creative process.
My process is concept-driven and often begins through experimentation that occurs during an artist residency. I typically have two or three ideas floating around in my head for series that I would like to expand upon. It is during these artist residencies once a year that I have had the studio time to explore different materials and methods for executing a concept in order to settle on something that works. In order for me to fully express an idea, I work through 5-10 pieces per series.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
My artwork evolves and changes according to my influences and life experiences. I look to a variety of other artists; Cindy Sherman, Kehinde Wiley, and Alexa Meade just to name a few, for inspiration. I also reflect on pressing political, economic, and environmental issues and use my artwork to represent and express some of my frustrations as a way of drawing awareness. I make art because it is an impulse, a passion, and sometimes it is the only voice I can use to share and make viewers think.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art should be appreciated by both artists and non-artists. Good art engages viewers with its originality, forces them to pause and consider it, and also speaks to some universal truths. There are many established artists whose work is worth a great deal, but in becoming a commodity, has exhausted all original thought. Famous artists are not necessarily making great art. I believe the struggling artist whose work is not so well known often has the greatest potential to make a difference.
What is the role of the artist today?
I believe artists should use the power of engagement to start conversations and catalyze change. Art is necessary as an outlet and as a provocation. It is difficult and rare to be a successful artist, so most artists are also well-rounded people who use other means to make ends meet. This allows for cross-pollination with other fields and a broader global perspective. I am an artist and educator, which allows me to nurture future artists in addition to using my own artwork to inspire.

This page was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist