Kat Kleinman | United States
Art allows me an avenue to express my hope for the world. I am a collage artist, focusing on floral compositions, because flowers symbolize my enthusiasm for using color to bring about large-scale positive changes, starting from within.
The photographs I use are my own, except for a few I have received from personal friends. They are never downloaded from a website. I take pictures of flowers everywhere I go, and being alert to the presence of a blossom initializes the intention of my work — to make people feel better, if only for a moment. I often use dozens of flowers in a single work. It is a process I find meditative, and a quality that carries over into the execution of the work.
The beauty of a floral collage represents healing, because fractions of color combine to create a new cohesive form. I am saddened by the self-centered rhetoric expressed by current influential leaders, and I am dedicated to creating art inspired by compassion, meditation and right action.
Contemporary Art Station: Tell us about how you got started. When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Artistic expression was not encouraged when I was young, but a crisis in my life brought it forth, because art is therapeutic. I developed the style of collage I create because my love of floral photography morphed into something bigger, as a natural and unstoppable progression.
CAS: What is your process like, from initial idea to the creation of the piece? Do you usually develop the idea for a project before you find the "canvas", or vice versa?
I take pictures of flowers everywhere I go, print and cut them out, and then I can go different directions from there - it might be a vase full of flowers or my favorite, work that is covered completely with flowers! The colors I choose may be a natural variety, or a specific combination for a theme effect.
CAS: What do you love most about your creative process?
My favorite part of my process is the exhilaration I feel when I lose track of time and place, and become fully immersed in creativity. I love the positive energy that goes into my work, and I believe it transfers to the viewer. The power to impact emotion with color is phenomenal!
CAS: What role does art and the artist play in the broader social conversation today?
Art is essential for expression, and will prove crucial to future generations, as we fight the current wave of isolationism and a focus on self-interests. Art brings people together, allows them to talk about what they see, and form an opinion. We need that globally, because art can provide a path to understanding.
CAS: Name a few of your favourite artists and influences.
My favorite living artist is Yayoi Kusama because her brilliant work is so full of joy and life, which always attracts me! I have also been influenced by the floral work of Claude Monet, and I have found inspiration in the work of Marc Chagall.
CAS: What is the best advice you received as an artist?
The best advice I have received is to always keep working to produce new art, and to listen to the suggestions of others, but to follow my own artist's heart in the end.
CAS: When did you discover your voice as an artist?
I was developing my current style of collage when someone I respect told me my work is important and should be seen. From that moment, I believed it, too.
CAS: What advice would you give to emerging artists trying to find their own?
I would encourage new artists to trust their inner artistic voice, to temper it with the wisdom of other artists they meet on their path, and then to show their work to many people. Artists must be brave, because it is not easy to put yourself out there, but the reward is incomparable!