Kathryn Keller Larkins
PAINTING NEW YORK CITY
My work explores questions about the individual experience within the group experience, and many of my recent paintings have been asking those questions about New York City. The individual experience here is continually lived out against a dramatic backdrop of movement. Our taxi plunges through traffic. Our flight lifts off, the noise recedes, and the view opens across the monumental push of glass and steel rising out of the water below. Our feet rattle as we pause, crossing iconic bridges that roar with arrivals and departures, and we join the movement of this city that is new again and again. I have been drawn particularly to these moments of transportation – of journey, reflection, and possibility – as they capture how we move and are moved here each day.
In my artistic process, I am inspired by a deep engagement with the physicality of painting – the reception of the paper to the water, the movement of the water and the pigment, the way air can force or fix the paint – and the chance to combine that with observations about humanity. I am inspired in the same way by New York City. It is such a powerfully physical experience to live here. We receive the energy of the city’s constant evolution, we move deftly through the crowds, we round a corner and the wind whipping off the river nearly closes our eyes. These paintings ask us to open them to see – beauty, history, and ourselves.