My multimedia paintings and sculptures are inspired by my weird interpretations of daily life. I look for humor in moments of no importance. I am inspired by folk art and craft work for the honesty and lack of pretension found in these genres. I explore typical moments of senior life; solitude, the rut of routines, time with adult children. I often view the world through my dog’s anxious eyes.
The paintings are small to midsize. I paint with oils but often add built up layers of cardboard, clay, and anything else that remains from a life filled with craft projects. My influences range from the interior scenes of Bonnard to the cheeky humor of Grayson Perry.
Perspectives are warped. Shapes are misshapen. Borders are ignored. The effect is used to direct the viewer’s gaze and heighten the narrative.
My sculptures begin with pre-made vase forms that I embellish into interpretations of select paintings.
Despite knowing that my gray hair, rounded body and age make me of less value in the traditional art world, I am determined to have my unique point of view seen and considered.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kathy Halper (1958, Chicago, IL) is a multimedia artist whose work has been shown in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago galleries, as well as countless museum and gallery exhibits. She has been shown at Context/Miami Art Week and has been written about in HuffPost, art magazines and blogs all over the world.
At the beginning of the social media revolution (circa 2010), Halper questioned issues of privacy and parenting through embroidered drawings based on found photos from Facebook of teen behavior. This series garnered her international attention (and some infamy).
Increasingly drawn to the honesty found in Outsider Art, her current work blends painting with craft materials, found objects, and warped perspectives to create unique narratives skewering and/or honoring daily life.
These are her most personal works yet, showcasing her sharp humor and creative exploration. Begun as a response to the solitary existence and daily routine of pandemic living, this work continues to draw attention to Halper’s thoughts on aging, marriage and relationships with adult children. Cardboard layers, clay objects, glitter and more inject drama into stories where there may be none. Her dog often appears as either subject or voyeur. Three dimensional elements, warped perspectives and misshapen shapes create tension and lure the viewer into her unique worldview.
The artist lives in Evanston, IL with her husband, dog, and any visiting children.
© Kathy Halper