Meet Debbi Kenote, conceptual artist with a keen eye for matching colours and patterns together. In our interview, she spoke to us about what it’s like to be a full time artist, get out of your comfort zone and to follow your passion. Here is her beautiful story of chasing rainbows and sunsets.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I find inspiration in a lot of places. I grew up on a small island in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. This area is known for moody weather and incredible landscapes. My parents decided to homeschool me when I was little, and I spent a lot of time in the outdoors. I think many of the shapes and color palettes that surface in my paintings are influenced by my early memories playing in this landscape. Now, as an adult living in New York City, other artists and art movements have inspired me as well. Ettore Sottsass of the Memphis Group and West Coast Hard-Edge Painting excite me in particular. There’s also a lot of interesting abstraction happening in NYC right now. I find that just being around that and discussing art with my peers shapes my work.
What is your 5-10 year goal?
Oh wow, well these days I’m just trying to make it through the year, haha. I think my daily life goal is to just keep pushing myself in the studio. I really enjoy the challenge of making art. The new work I’m making is more technical than what I made before. I’ve been designing interlocking linen canvases, and every time I finish one I feel like I’ve pushed my abilities and realized something exciting and new. It’s an exhausting, but rewarding, task to be an artist. I haven’t thought ten years ahead, but in five years I would love to be working with a gallery that is a good fit. I’ve been fortunate to show my work in a variety of spaces. It would be great to find a gallery to work exclusively with, but I’m not in a rush. Finding more time to make more work is really what I’m after.
What is your next exhibition/ showcase coming up?
In early August I will be in a 3-person exhibition at 5-50 Gallery in Long Island City, NY. They have really great programming and I’m excited to be showing there for the first time. In September I will be in Flat Rate Contemporary’s 4-person group exhibition at SPRING/ BREAK Art Show. I’m really looking forward to this. I have a couple residencies coming up as well! In late September I will be at DNA Residency in Provincetown, MA, and in February 2022 I will be going to the United Kingdom as an international artist in residence at PLOP in London.
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