Kate Kretz

Kate Kretz

is creating Art

0

patrons
"It was almost as if she were looking into the future, that she has some strange clairvoyant talent for sensing that her art would come to reflect the times we live in, the times recorded on the nightly news, the times that compose the strange reality we have come to accept as passing for normal... The exhibit is not for the faint of heart. It contains some graphic depictions of nudity and images with the kind of power that leaves marks. It's brilliant and provocative."
- review of my recent exhibition, "Common Denominator", by Mark Argento, York Daily Record

I believe that many artists possess the wiring, sensitivities, and unique way of looking at the world to see things coming down the pipe that others may not see. We are living in dangerous times, and I have been sounding the warning bell through the work I have been researching for the past 8 years, and creating for the past five years. My work has tremendous, consistent critical support, but the subject matter is often difficult. It is art that presents challenges for venues who want to show it, and, while viewers have said that it often haunts them for weeks, it is not the kind of work that most people want to hang on their wall, so sales are few and far between.

For the past 30 years, I have been obsessed with making art without compromise. I have left men I loved who did not understand how vital art was to my well being, put myself through undergraduate and graduate school, and worked dozens of jobs, sometimes two and three at a time, to support my art making. I have said “no” to situations that might have advanced me professionally, but would have compromised the quality or direction of my vision. I have wrecked my body by being compulsively driven to work, forgetting to break, and created two repetitive-use injuries that required surgery. I pulled hundreds of all-nighters to ensure that, despite deadlines, the quality of my work is always impeccable, never releasing it until there is not one thing I could possibly do to make it stronger. I spend months to years on some pieces, though only a handful of people might ever truly understand the complexity of my obsessive, elaborate processes. I am constantly pushing media boundaries, whether it is finding a way to do silverpoint drawings on found silverware, embroidering with human hair onto a ground of human hair, or, most recently, pyrography, all in service of finding the form that will make the art more potent.

I know what sells. I have the skills. I could make $500,000 a painting (plus more for the prints!) if I painted The Most Beautiful Golf Courses In The World. I could paint society portraits. But I would feel shitty on my deathbed, and I would not be making the art that I was put here on earth to make. And I firmly believe that as our entire world becomes more corporatized, that artists are the last real holdouts, the ones who do not prioritize money over everything else. I made a sobering calculation last year: I have spent $300,000 over the course of my lifetime to make this art. I could be living in the farmhouse I have always wanted. I could have seen even more of the world. But I am compelled to do what I do. I have made the work that needs to be made, speaking truth to power, with no regards for sales, or pleasing anyone but myself. I have always taught at the college level to earn money, so I can keep my studio work untainted. For many years now, I have been working on "#bullyculture", a project that I feel will be the most important of my life, but is also the most challenging, in terms of subject matter. One of the first works from this series was picked up by a writer at the Huffington Post, and this was the catalyst for hateful, misogynistic attacks against me, my family, and my work from gun extremists in all areas of social media. My response, an interview with the Coalition Against Gun Violence, is here.   

Two brave curators have stepped up to show this ongoing body of work, and for that, I am so grateful: In January of 2018, I had a solo exhibition, "Common Denominator", at York College (with catalog), and another later in the year, at Coastal Carolina University: they both showed this ongoing body of work that has consumed me for 8 years (including research), work that many others have been enthusiastic about, but were not able to show. Since this series has begun, several curators have walked in to my studio, and literally said, "Oh my God... this work needs to be seen!", and then walked it back, once they realized the complications of getting the work past a committee, and the reality of actually showing it in spaces with Saturday afternoon art classes and elementary school tours. I am so grateful for those who are willing to support the controversial: it is amazing how many critics complain about the dearth of challenging work, yet the logistical roadblocks to putting such work in front of the public, especially in our political environment, are many. 

My present adjunct teaching, lectures, and visiting artist gigs have always existed to maintain my art making addiction, but, increasingly, some of that income needs to come back to support my family. As a tenure-earning professor earlier in my career, I chose a unique path, building a now 25-page CV with little-to-no gallery support, drafting my own exhibition proposals and PR efforts over the course of my career. I spent a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort writing press releases, doing mailings, and renting trucks to drive my paintings all over the country. My pieces have always taken an unusual amount of time to make, and, as I was earning tenure, I thought it wise to re-circulate the slowly growing body of work in university galleries and small museums, rather than tying it up with a gallery. Later, in the past decade, I have had affiliations with 4 great galleries, but, like many galleries since the recession, they have all closed their doors. The art world is undergoing a strange transformation that seems to be echoing the world at large. While the top 1% artists and galleries are doing well, everyone else is struggling. I have been thinking that artists might need a new paradigm for quite some time now, and I love the potential of Patreon. 

It's perfect for me, because my pieces often take an incredibly long time to make... investing hundreds of hours means that the price is out of most people's league. My longtime, repeat collectors collect up to a certain price point. There are lots of artists who would simply repeat the popular work, or make smaller versions to expand their market, but I realized a long time ago that I had to choose between making a living as an artist, and making art without compromise. I am constitutionally unable to make assembly-line art. I have been banking on The Long Game for my work since the very beginning, 30 years ago. I became an artist in order to tell the truth, in the most potent, seductive way possible.... to make what the universe tells me to make. As my painting professor, Angelo Ippolito, was fond of saying, "A painting that has a compromise is a failure."

I'm will produce the work regardless, because I must do it to stay sane. But, if you appreciate what I am doing, you can help insure that I am able to make more of it by pledging $5 a month. I tend to work on 3-4 pieces at a time: for $5 a month, you will get access to a special Behind The Scenes access through Patreon's Lens feature, with weekly short video updates on progress of the work, info that I do not release anywhere else. For $10 a month, you will have the Behind The Scenes access through Patreon's Lens feature, as well as a small signed limited edition drawing related to the current work snail mailed to you every six months. For $25 a month, you get the aforementioned, as well as a subscription to "studio eavesdropping", a bi-weekly podcast talking about art & life while making. Patrons who support $50/month will get monthly livestreams of my studio with a Q & A interactive session via Crowdcast. The money from my Patreon page will be used for the creation more work. Beyond that, I am hoping to raise money to help maintain my studio for another year. After working from a home studio my entire life, three years ago, through a MD Arts Council grant, I was able to procure a proper studio to return to painting after a 6-year hiatus. The second year, I sold a painting to pay my rent. I continue to apply for grants, but I will be forced to give up my studio this Fall if I do not procure funding.

A curator once said of my work: "You either love it or hate it, but it is impossible to ignore." There are few endeavors remaining in the world that are not compromised or watered down in some way. By assisting me in the creation of this work, you become a part of speaking truth to power, opening up much-needed dialogues through art that is "capable of penetrating the television-addled consciousness of contemporary viewers.” (Neil Herring, ART PAPERS)
Tiers
Behind The Scenes
$5 or more per month

Get a patron-only perspective on my work.

  • Using the Patreon Lens feature, you will get impromptu short videos sent to you to be viewed at your leisure... of work in progress, the research process, books I am reading, or insomniac me making profound observations in the middle of the night.
Mailbox Treats
$10 or more per month

Twice a year, you will get an 8 x 10" signed, limited edition drawing sent directly to your snail mail box!

Studio Eavesdropping
$25 or more per month

• "Talking While Making": a podcast on art & life, created while making in the studio: released every two weeks

• An 8 x 10" signed limited edition drawing delivered to your snail mail box every 6 months.

Studio Visit
$50 or more per month

Join me for a studio visit video & livestream Q & A every month.

  • Studio Visit video of in-progress work w/livestream Q & A
  • PLUS an 8 x 10" signed limited edition drawing every 6 months
  • If you come to D.C., one real-life studio visit with a meal.
Goals
0 of 30 patrons
When I reach 30 patrons, I will include a research sources / bibliography in my weekly updates. (books, films, other artists, and articles informing my current work)
1 of 1
"It was almost as if she were looking into the future, that she has some strange clairvoyant talent for sensing that her art would come to reflect the times we live in, the times recorded on the nightly news, the times that compose the strange reality we have come to accept as passing for normal... The exhibit is not for the faint of heart. It contains some graphic depictions of nudity and images with the kind of power that leaves marks. It's brilliant and provocative."
- review of my recent exhibition, "Common Denominator", by Mark Argento, York Daily Record

I believe that many artists possess the wiring, sensitivities, and unique way of looking at the world to see things coming down the pipe that others may not see. We are living in dangerous times, and I have been sounding the warning bell through the work I have been researching for the past 8 years, and creating for the past five years. My work has tremendous, consistent critical support, but the subject matter is often difficult. It is art that presents challenges for venues who want to show it, and, while viewers have said that it often haunts them for weeks, it is not the kind of work that most people want to hang on their wall, so sales are few and far between.

For the past 30 years, I have been obsessed with making art without compromise. I have left men I loved who did not understand how vital art was to my well being, put myself through undergraduate and graduate school, and worked dozens of jobs, sometimes two and three at a time, to support my art making. I have said “no” to situations that might have advanced me professionally, but would have compromised the quality or direction of my vision. I have wrecked my body by being compulsively driven to work, forgetting to break, and created two repetitive-use injuries that required surgery. I pulled hundreds of all-nighters to ensure that, despite deadlines, the quality of my work is always impeccable, never releasing it until there is not one thing I could possibly do to make it stronger. I spend months to years on some pieces, though only a handful of people might ever truly understand the complexity of my obsessive, elaborate processes. I am constantly pushing media boundaries, whether it is finding a way to do silverpoint drawings on found silverware, embroidering with human hair onto a ground of human hair, or, most recently, pyrography, all in service of finding the form that will make the art more potent.

I know what sells. I have the skills. I could make $500,000 a painting (plus more for the prints!) if I painted The Most Beautiful Golf Courses In The World. I could paint society portraits. But I would feel shitty on my deathbed, and I would not be making the art that I was put here on earth to make. And I firmly believe that as our entire world becomes more corporatized, that artists are the last real holdouts, the ones who do not prioritize money over everything else. I made a sobering calculation last year: I have spent $300,000 over the course of my lifetime to make this art. I could be living in the farmhouse I have always wanted. I could have seen even more of the world. But I am compelled to do what I do. I have made the work that needs to be made, speaking truth to power, with no regards for sales, or pleasing anyone but myself. I have always taught at the college level to earn money, so I can keep my studio work untainted. For many years now, I have been working on "#bullyculture", a project that I feel will be the most important of my life, but is also the most challenging, in terms of subject matter. One of the first works from this series was picked up by a writer at the Huffington Post, and this was the catalyst for hateful, misogynistic attacks against me, my family, and my work from gun extremists in all areas of social media. My response, an interview with the Coalition Against Gun Violence, is here.   

Two brave curators have stepped up to show this ongoing body of work, and for that, I am so grateful: In January of 2018, I had a solo exhibition, "Common Denominator", at York College (with catalog), and another later in the year, at Coastal Carolina University: they both showed this ongoing body of work that has consumed me for 8 years (including research), work that many others have been enthusiastic about, but were not able to show. Since this series has begun, several curators have walked in to my studio, and literally said, "Oh my God... this work needs to be seen!", and then walked it back, once they realized the complications of getting the work past a committee, and the reality of actually showing it in spaces with Saturday afternoon art classes and elementary school tours. I am so grateful for those who are willing to support the controversial: it is amazing how many critics complain about the dearth of challenging work, yet the logistical roadblocks to putting such work in front of the public, especially in our political environment, are many. 

My present adjunct teaching, lectures, and visiting artist gigs have always existed to maintain my art making addiction, but, increasingly, some of that income needs to come back to support my family. As a tenure-earning professor earlier in my career, I chose a unique path, building a now 25-page CV with little-to-no gallery support, drafting my own exhibition proposals and PR efforts over the course of my career. I spent a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort writing press releases, doing mailings, and renting trucks to drive my paintings all over the country. My pieces have always taken an unusual amount of time to make, and, as I was earning tenure, I thought it wise to re-circulate the slowly growing body of work in university galleries and small museums, rather than tying it up with a gallery. Later, in the past decade, I have had affiliations with 4 great galleries, but, like many galleries since the recession, they have all closed their doors. The art world is undergoing a strange transformation that seems to be echoing the world at large. While the top 1% artists and galleries are doing well, everyone else is struggling. I have been thinking that artists might need a new paradigm for quite some time now, and I love the potential of Patreon. 

It's perfect for me, because my pieces often take an incredibly long time to make... investing hundreds of hours means that the price is out of most people's league. My longtime, repeat collectors collect up to a certain price point. There are lots of artists who would simply repeat the popular work, or make smaller versions to expand their market, but I realized a long time ago that I had to choose between making a living as an artist, and making art without compromise. I am constitutionally unable to make assembly-line art. I have been banking on The Long Game for my work since the very beginning, 30 years ago. I became an artist in order to tell the truth, in the most potent, seductive way possible.... to make what the universe tells me to make. As my painting professor, Angelo Ippolito, was fond of saying, "A painting that has a compromise is a failure."

I'm will produce the work regardless, because I must do it to stay sane. But, if you appreciate what I am doing, you can help insure that I am able to make more of it by pledging $5 a month. I tend to work on 3-4 pieces at a time: for $5 a month, you will get access to a special Behind The Scenes access through Patreon's Lens feature, with weekly short video updates on progress of the work, info that I do not release anywhere else. For $10 a month, you will have the Behind The Scenes access through Patreon's Lens feature, as well as a small signed limited edition drawing related to the current work snail mailed to you every six months. For $25 a month, you get the aforementioned, as well as a subscription to "studio eavesdropping", a bi-weekly podcast talking about art & life while making. Patrons who support $50/month will get monthly livestreams of my studio with a Q & A interactive session via Crowdcast. The money from my Patreon page will be used for the creation more work. Beyond that, I am hoping to raise money to help maintain my studio for another year. After working from a home studio my entire life, three years ago, through a MD Arts Council grant, I was able to procure a proper studio to return to painting after a 6-year hiatus. The second year, I sold a painting to pay my rent. I continue to apply for grants, but I will be forced to give up my studio this Fall if I do not procure funding.

A curator once said of my work: "You either love it or hate it, but it is impossible to ignore." There are few endeavors remaining in the world that are not compromised or watered down in some way. By assisting me in the creation of this work, you become a part of speaking truth to power, opening up much-needed dialogues through art that is "capable of penetrating the television-addled consciousness of contemporary viewers.” (Neil Herring, ART PAPERS)

Recent posts by Kate Kretz

Tiers
Behind The Scenes
$5 or more per month

Get a patron-only perspective on my work.

  • Using the Patreon Lens feature, you will get impromptu short videos sent to you to be viewed at your leisure... of work in progress, the research process, books I am reading, or insomniac me making profound observations in the middle of the night.
Mailbox Treats
$10 or more per month

Twice a year, you will get an 8 x 10" signed, limited edition drawing sent directly to your snail mail box!

Studio Eavesdropping
$25 or more per month

• "Talking While Making": a podcast on art & life, created while making in the studio: released every two weeks

• An 8 x 10" signed limited edition drawing delivered to your snail mail box every 6 months.

Studio Visit
$50 or more per month

Join me for a studio visit video & livestream Q & A every month.

  • Studio Visit video of in-progress work w/livestream Q & A
  • PLUS an 8 x 10" signed limited edition drawing every 6 months
  • If you come to D.C., one real-life studio visit with a meal.