Wk. 5 – Artist Conversation -Katia Swihart

Katia Swihart is an art student at Cal State Long Beach.  She is a visual artist and prepares like a method actor would.  To prepare she will meditate and then channel self-induced emotional states.  For this one she channeled rage and grief, and used suppressed anger from her childhood and from continuing relationships to help her choose colors and composition.  She uses everyday objects in her sculpture based art and they all hold personal value to her.

Katia uses her art to help tell her narrative of her life.  The works in the gallery included parts of her life such as jobs and moving throughout her college career.  Many pieces of her completed works include things from her home, comics, crafts made by children, and random fabrics that all remind her of her childhood.  She seemingly places them randomly on paintings and sculptures and then purposefully blurs the lines between the paintings and sculptures.

The work of art in the gallery that caught my eye was the mattress in the middle of the room.  I noticed that it was ripped in many places and had lots of colors thrown onto it.  This obviously drew my attention to it instantly as I entered the room.  When I got closer I noticed that in the rips on the mattress there were bits and pieces of comics.  I recognized a few that I had skimmed over when I was younger at book fairs in elementary school.  I thought that was very cool to see and thought it was interesting that she was using them to make art.  Then, I also noticed the rainbow colored parachute on the back of the mattress.  This also reminded me of elementary school because we used to play a game using one where we ran underneath and had to try not to get caught underneath it.  These aspects of her art made me more interested in it because it was something that I felt I could relate to at first glance.

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