Monday, 15 February 2010

Interview with Kirsty Whiten

q) Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.

a)I was born in Scotland and my father is a psychologist, my mother teaches human anatomy. Between them they have the human being covered.... and always under scrutiny. I think this has been a huge influence on my way of seeing.

q) Had you always planned on being an artist [or had you other hopes]?

a)I was always drawing, from when I was tiny. I had a little table in the corner of the kitchen and sat cutting out and sticking pictures from magazines together in strange ways. I never believed I could be an artist really - people were always saying how hard it is; to get into art collage, to make work, to make a living, and I just thought i would try the next little step and see.... it never stopped.

q) Do you have a preferred medium to work on? Why?

a)I love the control i have in pencil, and the scale I can have with painting. There is a physical, viseral reaction to painting, especially when the figures are life-size or bigger (as many of mine are). They have presence like people.

q) How would you describe your style?

a)I find that hard to say. Sometimes, warped realism.

q) Do you go through any certain processes while trying to produce your work?

a)I use various photographs to work from; some I take myself, and others I find in books, newspapers or on postcards. I want to create an off-balance psychological portrait, as simply as possible. i use models i know well, and we dress up and play, try out scenarios until something starts to happen; stories unfold, tensions brew, and I use the images to patchwork scenes for the drawings and paintings.

q) What are you working on at present?

a)I'm working on big, gauche, psychadelic canvases of post-appocolyptic families living naked in the woods.

q) What about recent sources of inspirations?

a)I started a family. I think a great deal about how fragile our way of life is, and how people take care of their children in extreme circumstances.

q) What are some of your obsessions?

a)Sexuality, evolution, religion, beastiality, propelling pencils, forests, truth, gloss paint, sordid details.

q) Which galleries have you shown at and which galleries would you like to show at?

a)Recoat gallery is the best in Scotland:

I show with the wonderful stolenspace in London:

I am just sending work to Bold Hype in Florida:

q) If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

a)through my flickr page:

q) Do you have any suggestions or advice for artists that are just starting out?

a)Put in the hours if you want to draw and paint, lots of 'em. Hardworking artists are the best artists - just watch them and you'll see. There isn't a real, clever short cut. Besides, it's totally worth it.

q) Who are your favorite artists?

a)I think I often get more from the work of dark, honest, funny photographers like Nan Goldin, Diane Arbus, or Rineke Dijkstra, than from other painters - though I love Inke Essenhigh, Paula Rego, Dana Shutz.

q) What books are on your nightstand?

a)five books on childbirth, and two copies of Hi-fructose magazine

q) To what weaknesses are you most indulgent?

a)I am a hermit. I try to fight it, but it always creeps back, and I end up avoiding other people.

q)….your contacts…

a)see my artwork:

Kirsty Whiten 8 Yardheads, Edinburgh, UK, EH6 6BU tel 00 44 (0) 770 109 0055