Kate Vrijmoet (http://katevrijmoet.com/) explains, "I use the tools of classical painting to provoke emotions in my audience they might more often associate with theater. My aim is an extremely high impact experience for the viewer. To go the distance as a painter, you need to step outside received ideas. Many of the deepest and most unusual experiences in all kinds of art are only available because the artist has led you to them through emotions that are provocative but, at least at first, acceptable."
Painter, curator and social practice artist Kate Vrijmoet received her MFA from Syracuse University. Her paintings and installations focus on on issues of consciousness, boundaries, scale and access. Her sound installation, Mother May I...? was awarded Best Installation in a Brooklyn exhibit by Charlotta Kotik, Curator Emerita Brooklyn Museum of Art. Her work has been published in Ufora, New American Paintings, The Seattle Times, Catapult Magazine. She is published in numerous catalogs including her CoCA Seattle solo exhibit catalog: Kate Vrijmoet: Essential Gestures, Uforafest, and more. Vrijmoet is the creator of the art and social change exhibit The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human.
How did you choose your medium? What medium are you currently working in? Has this changed?
I work in the medium that best solves the problem. I have several series: Non-ordinary Reality paintings are large scale oil paintings from the perspective of below water’s surface looking out. The goal is to create an auditory experience from visual stimuli, showing the functional link that exists between us. The Accident Paintings are life size figurative latex house paint paintings which essentially have to do with existential paradigm shifts. My social practice art uses the aesthetics of intervention through discomfort, antagonism and opposition.
What drives your artistic practices? What gets you in the studio?
My mission as a human being and my job as an artist is to use art to create deep connections among us. Those connections already exist, but sometimes convention rewards us for ignoring them.
Who are your creative heroes and why?
I’m riveted by Franz Kline’s work. The power of his marks freezes me in place. Pianist Jonathan Biss' artistry does to me with sound what Kline does to me with images. I love the humor in Twyla Tharp’s choreography and the vividness of Dean Young’s poetry.
What are some things you'd like to change about the arts community here in Seattle?
Seattle is an exciting city for the Arts. We have a robust, engaged, and lively arts community across the Arts. For art lovers across arts disciplines, Seattle is a choice destination city for arts tourism. I would like to see Seattle continue growth towards becoming a first tier in international art market.
If you could own a piece of art by any living artist, what would it be (or whose)?
Some luscious, candid, slippery marks by Jenny Saville or Cecily Brown.
- 2015 Listening to what you can see, Sticks and Stones, (Seattle, WA)
- 2014 Linda Hodges Gallery, 2-person show with Jacques Chevalier, (Seattle, WA)
- 2013 Elsvelt Gallery, Deconstruction/Destruction, 2-person show, Columbia Basin College, (Pasco, WA)
- 2013 Aljoya Northgate. The Human Condition, 2-person show (Northgate, WA)
- 2010 Kate Vrijmoet:Essential Gestures. Center on Contemporary Art (Seattle, WA)
- 2016 Colorida Gallery, (Lisbon, Portugal)
- 2015 Anne Focke Gallery, Seattle City Hall. The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human (Seattle, WA)
- 2012 5th Beijing International Art Biennal. National Museum of China (Beijing, China)
- 2012 Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Random Acts of Time (Santa Ana, CA)
- 2010 II Ecuadorian Bienale de Pintura, 3rd place winner (Guayaquil, Equador)
- City of Seattle, Portable Works (Seattle, WA)
- LANN Museum (Guayaquil, Ecuador)