Kathy Kissik is one of five artists whose work will be featured by curators Anica Sturdivant and Steven Coe in Mo.tor Cor.tex, a radical new exhibition that opens at the Art Gallery at Florida Gulf Coast University on Thursday, October 3. The show provides a dialogue about human obsession with industry, manufacturing, machinery, the essence of nature and the nature of what it is to be human. Sponsored by WGCU Public Media, Mo•tor Cor•tex also features work by Taylor Pilote, Jayson Fittipaldi and James Rosenquist.
Trained primarily in photography and welding, Kissik’s mixed media paintings are often architectural. Her process typically begins with a traditional medium format camera. “I shoot from varying vantage points and over a course of days,” the artist explains. “I allow myself to become intimate with my surroundings and form a relationship. Then I begin constructing sculptural collages utilizing my own prints. “
Kissik seeks out materials that lend themselves visually and conceptually to the subject with which she is dealing. “Metals, in general, have an unspoken vocabulary that is a useful tool for subtly transmitting information to the viewer.” For instance, copper, by nature, conducts energy and Kissik uses it symbolically. The toxic dullness of lead, on the other hand, is used as a counterpoint to copper. Sometimes found objects from the site inform the direction and work themselves into the artwork. “My vision has always been to evoke how a place feels. The interpretation of time, space, and subtle nuances associated with the experience of the subject. Texture and tonal shifts round out visual impact.”
Her factory series is strongly influenced by the history of Bauhaus construction, and she uses discarded cardboard, used fuses, and reclaimed wire in her work.
“I believe artists to be antennas,” Kathy waxes philosophically. “We pick up indiscriminately the whirl of activity that surrounds us. We are the true historians of society. Absorbing, digesting, and excreting what it is to be living in this time. I try to edit some of the information coming in during my digesting phase. I sit with it, contemplate, and reframe the experience in a way that feels cohesive and aesthetically accessible. I want people to engage with the works, to relate, and in that way to feel connected and comforted. This is why the aesthetics always are of my primary concern; they provide the lure, the dance on the retina that starts the dialogue.”
Kathy is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University where she was a fifth year Travelling Scholar recipient. She received two Pollock-Krasner grants and has exhibited in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Her work is widely collected by both public and private collectors.
Mo.tor Cor.tex opens October 3 with a 5 p.m. Gallery Talk and reception from 6-8 p.m. on October 3. The show will remain on display through October 24 in the main gallery in the FGCU Arts Complex.