Kathy Moss

Untitled #503
Oil on linen
78 x 70 in

ABout the Artist

My father was a passionate naturalist. My upbringing gave me a source of readymade archetypes which I have to some degree internalized and then altered and interpreted in my paintings. I am drawn to botanicals for their emotive and symbolic potential, for their mysteriousness and suggestiveness. They become beards, they stand in for figures, they dramatize the forces of relationships: push, pull, need, love, power, isolation. The paintings are minimal and subtle. The images are inspired somewhat by the traditions of botanical illustration, Flemish painting, dioramas, and the seriality, repetition, rhythms, beats of minimalist art. Patterns are made and broken, hierarchies established among these iconic motifs. Where the subject matter is situated creates certain tension on the plane, adding further reflection of the way these forces conflict or align.Material pleasure informs my process: I spill, drip, pour, ‘erase’, and paint into the liquid medium. At first glance my paintings are formal in composition and lighting, but each one has a hidden narrative. My lighting and my compositions draw from my background as a painter in oils and my study of classical painting and sculpture, but my presentation embodies the concerns, cynicism and conflicts of my experience in this world. Hair is part of the subject, as are women, pleasure. I think of my paintings as situational haiku: compact instants, using subject matter drawn from nature. I want the work to be transcendent, mysterious, humorous. Ultimately the paintings must work formally, hold the surface, have their secret narratives and be beautiful.


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