Kathryn Jill Johnson
University of Georgia, 2003, MFA
If I had to describe a quality that applies to the art that I like best, I’d use the word poetic. What do I mean by poetic? The dictionary defines it as “having an imaginative or sensitively emotional style of expression” and that’s a fine beginning. However I also see it as a juxtaposition of economy and extravagance. Information, both visual and metaphorical, is reduced to only what is needed in order to open the work for interpretation. Along with this economy, however, the artist must imbue the work with richness and intensity. This can be performed with an explosion of ornamentation, form, marks, materials or even emptiness. The key is both revelation and mystery, an authenticity not burdened with elucidation. The desire to create this quality of expression imbues all of my studio production and serves my conceptual concerns. I am interested in exploring people’s wounds and desires and how those things shape individual personalities and relationships with others and the world. I am interested in the perverse and the redemptive, the forlorn and the transcendent; the way that each person’s life is at once a comedy and a tragedy. I explore these issues through ideas about the body, language and narrative.