Katlyn Carlson

individual, ENTITY.2983
Life Dates:
b. 1986
GVSU Alumni Status:
GVSU Alum, 2009
Artist Biography:
"In this current work, I am going through the processes of exploring my materials, ideas, and slightly odd imagery. Paint has been my primary art material since I was a child. We have an abusive relationship: I give it all my love and attention, and at times bring me physical and emotional pain. But I keep coming back to it because paint give my images the marks, layers and colors that they need. When Perturbed at such a tiresome material I move on to drawing, books, and found objects. The books have textures and a quality I can't create and also contain information that fuels my brainstorming and influences the paintings. I have found that paint and the formal qualities involved in making a painting aren't interesting enough for me. What is really interesting are the ideas I put into the work. "I use my own image in all my work. Is this because I am incredibly narcissistic? Well, probably a little bit, though it isn't such an odd practice in today's society to publish personal experiences. Who doesn't have a Facebook page? However, the more thoughtful reason is that in college we learn from professors and authors of books, which have had time and experience to become proficient in in their subject areas. When writing papers for various classes I use these expert sources to cite from, but it's a self serving practice so that I can learn about the subject instead of adding to the collective knowledge. I contribute by communicating the only thing i feel to be an expert on, myself. The books I draw in are necessary to inspire my art beyond what's in my own head. In a world where we have immediate global knowledge, it is beneficial to learn from the individual experience on a well researched subject or personal experience, which can never be duplicated, but at the same time is relate-able to a large population. "As well as my own image I use objects, as well as food and occasionally animals, to further the allegories in my paintings and books. I am fascinated by the range of meanings associated with objects, which span from simple to complex, yet with subtle insinuations that I use to connect to the viewer. For instance, when a bat is placed over my eye it could possibly be read as, "blind as a bat." Through symbols such as these, the viewer can imagine meanings for a vague object. Overall I hope to communicate my ideas about my life and other subjects through the medium of paint and curious images." -Katlyn Carlson