Official Sites: Website | Instagram
About The Artist
Kat Spears was born in Georgia and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. Their work draws on images and memories of everyday experience to explore mysteries of empathy, perception, and unselfing.
Kat has an MFA in Painting from Indiana University and a BA in Studio Art, Art History, and Spanish from Berea College, worked at a community gardening nonprofit in Kentucky, has performed their songs on street corners and in dive bars across the country, and completed residencies at Hypatia-in-the-Woods in Washington, and in Huntingburg, Indiana through the CRE Rural Artist Residency Program. They currently live in Bloomington, Indiana with their dog, Bernie.
These paintings were born from two moments sitting in the cab of my partner’s car that bookended the autumn season of 2021. For me, both paintings contain tensions around connection and distance, warmth and light, coolness and darkness. Through my work, I explore the mysteries of empathy, perception, and unselfing. I am interested in the possibility of porousness between self and other, and I translate the sensuousness of a presence into paint: honey-like, rough, patterned, shimmering. I reach for new, unimaginable colors that might constitute a secret language of energies, looks, and endocrine signals between subjects, like the flower’s ultraviolet flagging to the bee’s specially adapted vision.
My creative process begins with my compulsion to document and archive my everyday experiences through a robust daily journaling practice, and taking smartphone videos and snapshots throughout the day. These become my source material for paintings, as I find myself drawn to certain memories that I can go refer back to in my visual and written archives. During grad school, I was fortunate to have a private studio where I completed all my large-scale work. Once I’ve chosen a memory as a subject for a painting, my process in terms of developing compositions and choosing color is pretty spontaneous. I refer to visual references loosely at first but attempt to stay open, reacting and adjusting my decisions from one mark to the next.