Internationally educated and locally based, Kristin Posehn blends quantitative tech, architecture, and organic structure to revive LA’s understanding of both street art and standard fare aesthetic.
Posehn’s unlimited talent extends from the canvas away from murals and residencies, and into sculpture, artbooks, and large-scale installations in unusual environments. With an impressive pedigree, Posehn virtually sat with NoHo Arts District to share a Q&A session.
Q: How long have you been an artist? What has been your professional trajectory/arc?
A: I did an MA and PhD in Sculpture at the Winchester School of Art in England, and after that a two-year research and production residency at the Van Eyck in the Netherlands. I’m really grateful for that background – I was able to see how different art histories operate in different regions, and have a bit of perspective outside of any one system.
Q: How has your practice changed over time?
A: When I began, I wanted to study and observe as closely as possible the built world and environment exactly as it is. All around us there are secrets hiding in plain sight.
I made works that reproduced architectural structures, buildings, and parts of buildings. The fascinating thing is that reproduction becomes something else, something new beyond the thing to which it refers.
Over time, this transformative process has become more interesting to me than adhering to a source.
Q: What media do you use to create your art? What process do you use to create your art?
A: As an idea percolates, it shows you how it needs to be made. The choice of media and process is a kind of dialogue between the ideas and the constraints of my situation at that time. I have a technical side, so it is great fun to fuse a vision with engineering in a way that feels seamless.
Q: What is your inspiration? Who has been an inspiration to you personally and professionally?
A: Inspiration is a spring coming from every direction. I love reading obscure magazines, diaries, interviews, old ArtForums, experimental novels, art books of all sorts, and books that random people in coffee shops recommend. It’s more fun to be permeable and look at things I’d never get to on my own. And I revere so many artworks and artists. It’s this ongoing, daily kind of mining.
Q; What message do you hope your audience imparts from your work?
A: Art is more like a question one lives. I hope that seeing my work is in some way a living experience, generative and open.
There’s this great line in the diaries of Witold Gombrowicz, Literature consists not of writing what one has to say, but of something completely unexpected.
Q: What is life like as an artist?
A: Always changing.
Q: What has been an artistic challenge you have faced and how did you overcome this?
A: Each work offers a new challenge, it’s part of the process. I’ve tried to say, “I’m never going to do something that difficult again,” then a year later I do.
Making something new forces me to change. Maybe that’s the root of the difficulty, and there has to be a challenge to make that happen. Sometimes it’s just a hard slog and long nights. But all kinds of wonderful moments can happen, against the grain of normal reality.
Q: What project or piece of work have you been most proud of to date?
A: That would be like picking a kid. But they’re all rambunctious and full of mischief. This year it’s been super fun to do a mural here in LA called Manic Castle Hash. The work plays on the phenomena of skyscrapers reflecting into skyscrapers and hashing.
Q: What is your dream project?
A: I would love to expand the scope of my architectural sculpture into a kind of language where buildings are like dreams.
Los Angeles is fortunate to call Posehn one of our own, but we’re dually grateful she returned from her overseas tenure to dig into the creative community here in LA again.