Kate Barbee is a new painter on the LA stage. Working out of her studio in Sherman Oaks, Kate arrived in Los Angeles two months ago from Austin, Texas. After completing her BFA in studio art from UT Austin she moved to Los Angeles eager to latch onto the exploding art scene.
Kate sitting with, “Someone’s in my Bathroom #2”
A self defined colorist, Kate creates humorous paintings from dark inspirations. Her “Voyeurism” series emerges out of the not-so-good experiences she has had with men. Her work depicts her in vulnerable situations while also mocking the out of line and vulgar actions of her antagonists. In several of her paintings you can find a shadowy hat-man watching Kate from afar. Her work is stylistically cheery, personal, but easily relatable. The paintings hint at Matisse and Joan Brown’s “bad painting” style. Kate’s work acts as a way to take the power away from her aggressors.
Four panel work in progress from the Voyeurism series
Kate’s earlier works often references the Virgin Mary. After a trip to Italy, which is covered in depictions of the Virgin Mary, Kate became frustrated with the under-representation of female artists in a room of Mary painting. This series experiments with painting Mary in a new light. The “Alter” series puts Mary in new environments with some new friends. Kate infuses the scenes with a bustling energy without appearing to be too busy.
Just to be clear, unlike her dog Alaska, Kate does not hate all men. She is just not a fan of the ones that do wildly inappropriate things to her. Her work acts as a therapy to channel her feelings and expose the traumas that she deals with in everyday life.
“Castration of the Voyeur”
Kate also enjoys her side project of translating her aesthetic onto pieces of clothing. She has a rack full of jackets waiting to be transformed with her colorful, strong-lined designs. Moving between series, medium, and format, Kate is able to express her own style and hold true to her voice.
To see more of Kate’s work check out her website and Instagram
By: MP Knowlton