Kristan Kennedy was born in New York and currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Kennedy works as both an independent artist and a curator. In her artistic practice, Kennedy produces works of painting, sculpture, printmaking, and other media, while in her curatorial practice Kennedy supports and promotes the work of emerging artists in traditional media, as well as performance and music.
The artist’s studio in the above photo looks fantastically messy. Every surface is splattered with paint -- the thick layer of muddied pigment reminds me of the studio space of Joyce Pensato. Raw canvases, or perhaps works on fabric, and artworks-in-progress cover the walls and floors.
Looking at this studio space, I’m struck by the sense that Kennedy approaches her art practice with a sense of abandon, perhaps even viewing it as a way to escape the stresses of her curatorial work. There’s something cathartic about all of these works -- the dark colours, splashed almost careless across the canvases, the sense that a stroke of colour might not be restricted to a single canvas -- that the artist might prefer that everything gets jumbled together in one chaotic expression.
Kennedy is heavily involved in programming and management at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. The artist also teaches contemporary art history at Portland State University.