Wk 5 – Artist Conversation – Katia Swihart

Exhibition Information

Artist: Katie Swihart

Exhibition: Description of A Struggle

Media: colored paper, color-aid, origami paper, any other supplies that can be found at a daycare

Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery

Website: katiaswihartart.blogspot.com

About the Artist

Katia Swihart is a 4th-year student at here at CSULB undergraduate and is working towards her BFA degree in the School of Art’s Drawing and Painting program. She’s been here at the Beach all four years and is from Long Beach. She likes to draw anger in her work to create pieces. The ideas that her work explore is trying to find identity in the workspace. She used to be a manager at Jersey Mike’s and as you can see in the picture above, she turned her old uniform into a piece of art. She said she like to be impulsive with creativity.

Formal Analysis

Her work in the gallery was mainly media collages. The media she uses often is a paper called color-aid, which she said was very expensive. She also mentioned that she works in a daycare, so plenty of her materials are art supplies that are kid friendly. On her piece that contains a frying basket, it’s actually popsicle sticks kids at the daycare glued into Jewish stars, and she took those, deep-fried them making a simple kid’s craft into art. The nature of her work is very impulsive and random. There is no true pattern that I can see in any of her work, but I really enjoy the sporadic behavior of her pieces. With all the different textures, it keeps makes you look at her art closer to fully appreciate all the detail she put into the final product.

Content Analysis

The work shown in her exhibit are about childhood, anger, trauma, and loss. She has a large mattress piece in the middle of the exhibit, and she named it “Father’s Metamorphosis” Which she told me and a classmate that it was named after a title of a Kafka book.tells tels of a lot of truama from her childhood in this piece, that had to do with trauma from her father. He constantly read books by Kafka, and her whole exhibit is even named after his book Description of A Struggle. I also found her incorporation of daycare crafts into her work very ingenious. To little kids, they might not know of the artistic integrity a simple class project could be, but Katia sees it and makes it her own.

Synthesis / My Experience

I really loved Katia’s entire exhibit. To her old Jersey Mike’s uniform, to her large mattress piece, you could tell they were all meticulously worked on. The fact that she drew such harsh emotions for her work, but portrayed them with bright eccentric colors was different to me. She also said she uses origami paper too, which I think is more cost effective than the expensive color-aid she said she also uses. I want to take her impulsive creations as inspiration into my life, and act off more of my impulses rather than hold them in. Love her work!


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