Interview with Kristine Roan

Rapture/Rupture Spray paint, duct tape, and found materials on wood panel

Rapture/Rupture
Spray paint, duct tape, and found materials on wood panel

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make?
I’m an artist with a background in painting and I also make sculptures and jewelry. For the past two years, I’ve been focused on a series of collages I refer to as para-paintings. I like spending time in Iceland and have attended three artist residencies there.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
Mostly through my materials, which range from discarded children’s toys, to craft materials and anything with a curious texture. I also maintain a shelved display of collected cartoony/artificial-looking representations of nature (plastic plants, bones, stones, fruits).

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Music that creates an energetic atmosphere (lately it’s been Plaid’s album, Scintilli). I work at night on the floor under a single small light, with the rest of the studio lights turned off. It helps limit my focus.

 What types of obstacles have you run into in your artistic practice and how do you go about navigating around them? 
Artist statements! A few months ago, I was struggling with writing one and decided to conduct a written interview with myself. It helped clarify my relationship to my materials and think about my decision-making process.

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your visual work?  
Synchronicity, play, optimism, trickery, unevenness, contradiction, and humor.

Is there a particular artist you feel you relate to? Who are your role models (artists or non-artists)?
I adore Bjork! Her courage to explore and pull from such a wide-range of sources—both musically and conceptually—is super inspiring. Parajanov’s The Colors of Pomegranates and other films that employ tableaux vivant are delightful to pair music to. As for visual artists, Richard Tuttle’s work, always handled with such tenderness and care, brings me great joy.  And I’m in awe of Laurel Sparks' incorporation of magickal practices into her painting process.

What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?
I was once given the opportunity to interview one of my art heroines and upon asking her about a sculpture in her studio, she said something along the lines of, “I don’t know how to talk about it yet because I just finished it.” That was and still is encouraging, as a person whose process often begins on an impulsive and meandering path.