Technology has x-ray vision and
reveals the hidden interiors of everything that surrounds us.
I am fascinated by this technological strip tease and the metaphor
of transparency is a major influence on my work. My work is
all exterior; there are no surfaces that hide or obscure; the
entire object is open to the viewer's curious stare. At the same
time, because there is no symmetry in my work, every shift in
viewing angle creates a different piece.
I make 2.5 and three - dimensional
objects that refer to the human body. The kind of body that
interests me is the confused body of the late 20th Century, a
body that is part organic and part mechanical. The old distinctions
between 'natural' and 'manmade' are being rapidly erased by aggressive
scientific and medical techniques like cloning, cosmetic surgeries,
and electronic organs. I am fascinated with the new 'mixed' bodies
these technologies are producing. I work is influenced by the
hybrid, bionic and semi-artificial and use it to invent new chimeras.
My pods and humanoid shapes are completely new but similar enough
to those in nature to seem possible.
I use a wide range of materials; steel, tarpaper, foam and rubber;
non-art, inorganic materials that are meant to retain their industrial
identity. I consider myself to be part of a small group of
artists who reach conceptual and intellectual goals through a
focus on craft. Every element I use to I make an object, its
scale, construction method and choice of material is essential
to the way the viewer relates to it. I deliberately use materials
that are the conceptual opposite of the image they are part of.
My objects feminize these materials; make these industrial, construction-
related materials sensual.
This world is full of odd visual
juxtapositions, unintended visual puns. I want my work to share
in this environment of unintended humor. If my work makes you
grin, seems simple, funny, even stupid, then you have gotten
my joke. I thank you for looking.
Kay Whitney, October '04
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Kay Whitney has recently returned
to Albuquerque after teaching art for several years at Texas
State University in San Marcos and the University of Texas in
San Antonio. Her work has been widely exhibited, most recently
at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Dallas, Texas; the New
York Arts Gallery in New York; the Blue Star in San Antonio,
Texas; and the Steel Grrrrls exhibit at both the University
of New Mexico's Jonson Gallery and the Houston Art League in
Texas. Other exhibits include numerous shows at galleries and
museums in Germany, California, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque. Whitney
is also a curator, a writer, and a lecturer on contemporary art
issues. She holds an MFA from the University of Southern California,
Los Angeles and a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts,
Boston. Her works of art can be found in collections across the
Kay Whitney art exhibit >>