Featured Artist: Kasey Lou Lindley

I’ve been transgressing painting. Some of the mediums I’ve used, to expand the language of landscape painting, are projected animations, various fabrics, Astroturf, mulch, carpet, mirror, contact paper, sound, photography, and video.

1. What sort of art critic are you? Or, asked differently, who is your favorite art critic?

As a critic, I tend to be pretty open-minded and curious. I like to have a well-rounded understanding of something before I feel like I’ve formed a critical opinion.

2. What role does history play in your work?

Both my personal history and different movements in art history play a major role in my work. My interest in painting as medium, nature as subject matter, and landscape painting derive from experiences I had at an early age. As my interest in the arts and its history grew, I began to discover what periods of art history I found most intriguing such as the fluxus, abstract expressionist, feminist, and postmodern movements, and began to apply aspects of each to my own art practice.

Aftermath, Mixed Media, Dimensions Variable, 2010

3. Are there any features of your work that are discomforting, for yourself or your viewer?

My intention is that, at first glance, my work is humorous and pleasurable to look at. Upon further inspection, the work could become discomforting because it questions our contradictory need to exploit and conserve the earth due to convenience and survival.

4. What aspects of contemporary art would you change, if you could?

I would much rather change the way contemporary art is viewed by the general public, rather than change contemporary art itself. There is a lack of emphasis on the importance of educating individuals about contemporary art, and because of this, it isn’t as widely embraced as it should be. I would love to see more funding go toward educating the public about contemporary art… among other things. Most of the public doesn’t understand the significance of ‘The Rwanda Project’ by Alfredo Jaar, Lynda Banglis’s ‘Centerfold’, Coco Fusco’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’, or ‘Super Mario Clouds’ by Cory Arcangel — each of which say an immense amount about the period of time they were created. Much like other contemporary artists’, these works reflect aspects of who we were, and who we are as a species and culture. Contemporary art is another form of communication that would be embraced by more people if it weren’t misrepresented so much, and considered frivolous. As far as I’m concerned, contemporary art should be held at the same esteem as disciplines that are considered more valuable on a larger social scale, such as mathematics, science, engineering, and business — most contemporary art encompasses all of said disciplines anyway, so why not give it the respect and attention it deserves. If more of an emphasis were put on contemporary art education, then there would be a greater understanding and people would find that it’s absolutely essential.

Flannel Camp (day and night), Mixed Media, Dimensions Variable, 2011

5. How did you arrive at the structure of your work?

I grew up in Utah and the majority of my time was spent exploring the outdoors. My father is an avid mountain biker and outdoorsman so I was constantly camping, hiking, biking, traveling to hot springs in remote areas, and having an incredibly good time. Besides spending a great deal of time outdoors, I also spent a lot of time with my grandmother, Norma. She was an artist as well, and introduced me to painting — her passion was landscape painting.

For the past 4 years, I’ve been transgressing painting. Some of the mediums I’ve used, to expand the language of landscape painting, are projected animations, various fabrics, Astroturf, mulch, carpet, mirror, contact paper, sound, photography, and video. I work within flexible parameters where representation, abstraction, 2D, 3D, Installation, sound, performance, collaboration, and new media expand upon the idea of what a painting is and what a painting can be.

Conduit, Mixed Media, Dimensions Variable, 2011

6. What does it mean to you to be an artist living and working in Sarasota, FL?

Sarasota isn’t a major art mecca, but there is definitely something to be said about the amount of creativity and drive within the Sarasota community — there is a wonderful concentration of artistic energy here.

The type of art I create works best in alternative art spaces, so being part of a strong group of like-minded individuals is extremely important. I’m more interested in artist as community rather than artist as individual, and I love the freedom allotted to me when given a space that allows for experimentation and personal artistic growth. There aren’t an abundance of established alternative art spaces in Sarasota, so one has to be willing to improvise, and be able to adapt to new situations and spaces easily. Being a member of the Joint Collective has made living as an artist in Sarasota really fun because we’ve been able to come up with several solutions for showing our work in a non-white cube setting. We started off coordinating art shows in a house; when we were unable use that space anymore we started to coordinate shows in different settings. So far we’ve shown our work in a local cafe, outdoors, in Germany, and in a vacant retail store. This has been both challenging and rewarding.

Follow My Lead, video still, 2010

7. How do you see the societal role of the artist evolving?

Artists’ will continue to be at the forefront of innovation and liberation.

8. How important do you think the discourse of contemporary art is?

Extremely important! It can tap into different emotions. It addresses a wide range of subject matter, including current events. It’s an excellent way to communicate. It can be poetic, inventive, and it’s informative.

While this is not about the discourse of contemporary art specifically, I love this excerpt from ‘A Man Without a Country’ by Kurt Vonnegut:

“Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

Natural Disaster, Mixed Media, Dimensions Variable, 2011

9. One of the most complicated aspects of being an art maker is the “Life Work” balance: making important decisions on when to start and when to stop and where to separate things. Do you have any advice for other artists, based on your own methodology, on how to balance a life’s work?

Don’t get discouraged and let obstacles life sends your way hinder you from creating. If you are passionate about your work, there is no reason why you shouldn’t continue to make. I use every opportunity available to continue to create work on a daily basis. Whether that is by taking a picture, making a video, drawing, painting, etc… I gradually compile the ideas and work I’ve “collected” over a period of time — between a few days to years — into a final piece or series of work. I’ve also found that the best ideas and opportunities to create art appear when least expected.

Pixel Park II, Mixed Media, Dimensions Variable, 2010

10. How important do you think authority is in contemporary art now?

I don’t think authority is that important in contemporary art. Support from local and global communities, however, is most definitely important.

Kasey Lou Lindley was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Utah. She studied at the New York Studio Program, received her BFA from the Ringling College of Art & Design, and her MFA from the University of Connecticut.