Sunday, December 13, 2009

Printsy Interview - Kirsten Lowe-Rebel


Kirsten Lowe-Rebel is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2007). She has a BFA in Studio Art, focusing in Painting and Print Media. Kirsten’s minor, women’s studies, has allowed her to explore cultural constructions of gender. Her interest in social binaries of femininity and the history of women's work and sexuality is what enforces her work.

My first printmaking class at IUP was based on a love and hate relationship. The first night I ran a Litho-plate edition on my own, I was up all night and wrote down very hateful words about the printmaking process and lifestyle! I swore that it was not for me, and I also cried a little. As the sun rose that very first time, I started to understand that it was no longer about me but it was about being one with the machine. Whether it is because I enjoy tormenting myself or it’s the narcissism of it all... seeing your art multiplied, I love traditional methods of printmaking!

My favorite methods of printmaking are the most graphic and immediate ones (wood and/or linoleum block prints). I enjoy the solid application of the inks and textures they can take on. I started printmaking by way of intaglio. This method allowed me to create scenes or objects to be printed in multiples. Now, I am much more interested in the layering possibilities. I wouldn’t even consider my work a specific genre because I apply multiple layers of printing, painting and embellishment techniques. For this reason my work has evolved to mostly mono-prints. I love the unique quality in something that remains constant.

Some contemporary artists that I admire are Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas. For example, Sarah Lucas printed some very controversial and aggressive print images onto sugar paper and applied them to birthday cakes. I love the idea of using traditional printing techniques and printing them onto unexpected surfaces. While in school I took advantage of portfolio exchanges with conceptual themes. I enjoy working in a collaborative style. Since I have graduated I have spent little time in communal studio type settings but continue to show my work around Pittsburgh, PA. I believe that printmaking can embody very addictive qualities and bring out the very best and worse in every printmaker!

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