Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Artist of the Week

Kristin Komar
When I set out to find a piece of art that is appealing to me, an untrained observer with no background in art, I look at two things. First and foremost is color, I enjoy both bright and brilliant along with deep and rustic. The second aspect that I love is the title of the piece. I have come to find out that many artists do not enjoy titling or try to give very unassuming titles, but the most creative, or perhaps adventurous, choose to have fun with the titles. They know the a piece will stand on it's own, but a clever title can either add a smile or an extra glance if properly placed.

One artist who's titles and colors I've admired for quite sometime is Chicago-based artist Kristin Komar. She utilizes the most amazing colors and shapes, and works diligently to arrange them in such an appealing way. Her work is layered to give it a visible texture that works to highlight the colors. She then gives her pieces names that are unusual yet somehow fitting and always intriguing.

Recently, Kristin was kind enough to answer a few my questions.

Orange Alert (OA): How would you describe your work?
Kristin Komar (KK): Why are the simplest questions always the most difficult to answer? My abstract work investigates color and spatial relationships. My creative process is very intuitive. I may start a painting in one color palette and end up with a completely different one because I try to listen to where the painting wants to go.

OA: Do you have a set color palette that you work from? Do you ever consider what emotions different color and combinations of colors may convey to the viewer of your painting?
KK: I don't have a "set" color palette, but there are colors and color combinations that I'm instinctively drawn to. There's no doubt that different color palettes convey a mood to the viewer which I definitely consider when I'm painting.

OA: One aspect of your work that has always fascinated me is your creative titles like, "March of the Tomorrows", "It's Okay to Swirl & Shine", "Fuzz Opera" and so on. How important to your pieces are the titles and how do you general find a name for a piece?

KK: Music is such an integral part of my creative process. I'm incessantly listening to music as I work and I often "find" the titles to my paintings from the phrases in songs. However, those particular three titles that you cited actually came to me from just living with the pieces...

OA: Your recent resin on wood panel series is quite interesting, It seems as though you are branching out a bit beyond the oval shapes. What was the inspiration behind the “Physics Makes Us Solid” series?
KK: I started working with the resin panels just this year and there's been a strong response to them. The idea came for them when I read a Call for Artists which was looking for miniatures for the show. I had always been interested in working with resin ever since I worked at an art supply store years ago. I usually work in oil paint on stretched canvas, which is a completely different process and look. I enjoy working with acrylic paint and then layering the resin between the paint to give the piece spatial depth. The immediacy of the acrylic paint has also allowed me to experiment with different shapes and forms. However, I'll always continue to paint in oil. The two polar approaches/processes somehow keep me engaged and sane.

OA: In your artist statement, you express a need for organization in painting. In what way does painting “indulge that compulsion”?
KK: It's all about the composition, baby!

OA: I know you have collaborated with your friend and fellow Chicago Artist Kim Frieders. What your thoughts on the scene in general?
KK: First, let me just say that I am a huge fan of collaborations. I intend to do a lot more and have 2 other collaborative projects in the works.It's a way to learn and to teach without being in a classroom setting.Whether the work is a success or not, I always learn something from the process and I'm hopefully able to teach something as well.

For some reason "art scene" always makes me cringe...However, I find it very exciting that there's a plethora of art collectives popping up allover Chicago. Most of my friends are artists and in 2001 I co-founded an art collective called "Art Bitch." There are 5 members (or Bitches, as we like to call ourselves) and we meet once a month to critique each other's new work. We try to be brutally honest with each other but in a constructive way. We also discuss art opportunities and put on art shows.I just hosted/curated an "Art Bitch" art & music show this past September.It's very empowering not to need a gallery to do these things. It's so important for emerging artists to join together and create their own art community for support. Painting can be such an isolated, solitary act.It's much more fun when artists with like minds can get together to inspire and help each other's work develop to the next level. That's why I enjoy doing the collaborations so much. It's like we're in a rock band!But less noisy and without all those heavy instruments to lug around.

OA: What’s next for Kristin Komar?
KK: Good question! Yes, what IS next? I'd like to know myself! I'm currently working on a few painting commissions, but after that I think I'll just continue to make my artwork and stay true to myself in whatever direction it takes me.

Bonus Questions:

OA: Coffee? If yes, where is your favorite coffee spot and what is your favorite type of coffee?
KK: Absolutely! "A day without coffee is like a day without coffee". "Star Lounge" on Chicago Ave. I'm a big Mocha fan...

OA: Do you listen to music while you paint? If so, what is your favorite of music while painting or in general.
KK: Music is a huge part of my creative process. I can't imagine painting without it. The albums in "hot rotation" at my studio are:

Of Montreal "Hissing Fauna, Are you the Destroyer?"
PJ Harvey "White Chalk"
Radiohead "In Rainbows"
I also love to make mix CD's for my friends and for myself to listen to in my studio.

For more information on Kristin Komar please visit her website.


Anonymous said...

I love Kristin!! She rocks!! MEC

Anonymous said...

That's funny, I love Kristin, too! And her paintings... And her mixed CD's...What's not to love? hd

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a great interview! I've seen KK's work several times throughout the city and she never ceases to amaze me!!