Artist of the month

Kim’s surrealist artworks and Self-harm experiences are equally persuading

Kimberly Quiriarte

Washington. USA.

Breathe 2019

“Expression through art is an enormous part of being a person, whether through dancing, painting, or singing. Sometimes, I sit down simply with the urge to paint and a weight on my chest, and I pour that moment onto my canvas; what I fail to explain time and time again can be expressed through the colour red placed across the throat of a character I create and through dozens of creations, my walls begin to explode with colour”, asserts Kim.

Bad Days 2019

Expression through art is an enormous

part of being a person, whether through dancing, painting, or singing. Sometimes, I sit down simply with the urge to paint and a weight on my chest, and I pour that moment onto my canvas; what I fail to explain time and time again can be expressed through the colour red placed across the throat of a character I create and through dozens of creations, my walls begin to explode with colour”, asserts Kim.

When one continually feels perturbed, one realises as well as recognises the need for a stable mind. However, this perturbed or wavered state sustains for a long time, while morphing into expressions in the case of a visual artist. Kimberly Quiriarte (addressed as Kim) brushstrokes are the embodiment of this transitory phase, which is under the process of becoming.

Elevated State of mind

Untitled

Living with a temper

Kim is a 21-year-old young artist, whose story intrigues us to dwell beyond the seen as it is not

academically driven. Kim lives and works in Seattle, Washington. USA. Sharing about her childhood Kim says, "I grew up with one

brother and four sisters but also have two half-brothers, who I have never met. I grew up all over the Washington State." She futures "I was a artsy child as far as I can remember." her works are best defined as surreal and have dream like elements, yet a realistic approach.  

She is our first feature artist of the month, and a short tete-a tete will open a window to her world of self-taught expressions, experiences of self-harm and a female who knows to sustain individually. 

“A sense of accomplishment with the completion of each piece.”

Surrealism was one of the most exciting movements and styles of the early 20th century, which still sneaks into canvases of the present youth who desire to work beyond the anatomical nitty-gritty. The maverick Salvador Dali had a captivating aesthetics, which broke the cocoon through his whimsical interpretation and at the same time represented his courageous deportment through undaunted expressions. The resolute attitude is a common element in the artists who do not want to express what people think but what they think of the world. And maybe they don’t ponder because the act of painting or sculpting or creating is just humanely as daily chores.

I feel your art is really surreal. Do you have any comments on that? Do you dabble in caricature?

I think surreal is a perfect way to describe my artwork. I enjoy not being bound by reality. I am inspired by women, lore, nature, and references from various social media outlets. I have never been tempted to do a caricature because the environment and the art style is just not for me.

It is what it is, 2020

A victim of a genetic dysfunction, Kim has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), which variably affects mental health. The patient displays several symptoms, and Kim inflicts pain on her body by slitting her skin, which is known as the Self Harm. In BPD, a patient shows extreme behaviour, inviting restlessness and absence of will to undertake any work except if something exceptionally stimulates the mind. Relatively, Kim found this inspiration in art, stating, “In a time of such stress and uncertainty, I can control the entire process of art.”

When did you first realise that you had BPD? What did you experience? May I know how you cope with these unstable moments?

I actually had developed mental disorders pretty early. I am bipolar and have BPD. I've dealt with depression since elementary school. It is genetic because my dad is bipolar. I was diagnosed when I was 16. And went to therapy for a couple of years, started diving into BPD then I moved and never went back to therapy. I practice mindfulness, yoga, and meditation. And I'd advocate everyone to participate in these mindful sessions. I'm just learning to do better and be better, to respond rather than react, and that it's okay to feel sad. Art is a healthy outlet for emotions so that I wouldn't say 'distract'.

Redbeard, 2019

“Through dozens of creations, my walls begin to explode with colour.”

That High, 2020

One of the famous street wall-arts by Banksy depicts a girl releasing a heart-shaped balloon, which evidently states freedom and liberty in disguise. Compulsively, compared with Kim’s painting, the balloon has purportedly replaced her head, which is held by a string to the nude body. Identifying herself more with her body, the floating head is a literal explanation of the mood of a stoner. The sensual woman-body seated cross-legged, stressing the shoulders as if performing yoga and sustaining in a multicultural city of Seattle demonstrates that she is not finding it easy but making it like one.

The way you love to do art, it feels like art and creativity are acting as a useful therapy for you. How has expressing through an array of colours and models been coming along for you?

One of the famous street wall-arts by Banksy depicts a girl releasing a heart-shaped balloon, which evidently states freedom and liberty in

disguise. Compulsively, compared with Kim’s painting, the balloon has purportedly replaced her head, which is held by a string to the nude body. Identifying herself more with her body, the floating head is a literal explanation of the mood of a stoner. The sensual woman-body seated cross-legged, stressing the shoulders as if performing yoga and sustaining in a multicultural city of Seattle demonstrates that she is not finding it easy but making it like one.

Oh definitely, I have used art as a feel-good technique a lot when I'm feeling trapped or bored with life. Green and yellow would probably be my happier colours. Green is my favourite colour and yellow I relate to the sun and openness. And reds, blacks and greys for depression-like feelings. And I wouldn't describe the feeling in any way dire, but I often feel like the painting and can sit and put out three pieces.

 

Art has always been a fantastic outlet for me; it can be a face, expressing how I feel when I can't find words, calming to run the paint across my canvas. It is a great distraction from a long otherwise boring day and a good feeling of completion with every work's end.

“This is my favourite piece so far, and I'm in love with the way the colours work together. And it best describes me as ‘hard and tough’ because I actually paint a lot of things that I feel, so it varies.”

One of my Favourite

Inducing the mind to surpass the planes of depression and dissipation has been a favourite pastime for many artists, musicians, writers and creative expressionists. Speaking of contemporaneity, the bright Kusama-kind dots represent LSD, valium and opium in Damien Hirst’s spot paintings. While Andy Warhol administered prescribed-Obetrol, we are well aware of the alcoholic Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock, who received redemption only by soaring in the sky. Art and drugs share a historical bond of narrative that have either culminated into a masterpiece or burnt the canvas. Both accounts feel like fairy tales for one who is yet to transform into a well-versed stoner or tweaker. 

 

Treading on a road where mental health is taken for a toss, Kim regularly smokes marijuana about which she unhesitantly shares with us. We enquired about her experiences.

Do you smoke cannabis? Do you feel this is being beneficial in escaping from a mental disorder? Do you like to work when you are trippy?

In the clouds

A little rough around the edges

Yes, I am a regular user of marijuana during my daily life; but I wouldn't say it affects my work. I also have taken psychedelics and found it surprisingly hard to paint, I couldn't really focus long enough to get anything good down. Under the influence of marijuana, I smoke to relieve anxiety and depression, so it's actually part of the process for myself.

Kim’s canvasses either exclusively depict young female figures or they are self portraits with symbolic props. Rose and thorns on the body replace the head, beheaded meditative pose, frenetic brushstrokes with a profile, illustrative sun replacing sun, among other stylistic 

notions, describe her states of conscience, tantalising the nerves to apply an honest stroke at a time. Although they might be devoid of awareness, they are symbolically strengthened in order to put forth an accurate narrative. Nudity is one of the stark features of her oeuvre. Almost all paintings portray anatomically correct nudes with beautiful bosom and symmetrical alignment. Does she hesitate to express affection, fearing she could hurt? Or with a bloomed sunflower, is that how she feels when she is on psychoactive drugs? Her beheaded poses are equally intriguing, 

which no wonder are unconventional in the name of portraiture as a subject, delivering a central significance to the head/ brain when tripped by marijuana.

I observe that you not only have an excellent knack of anatomy, but you beautifully portray women?

I genuinely think that yellow is made for black women, and I was painting a lot of flowers at the time. I follow a lot of beautiful women on social media and they inspire paintings. I just think women are art in themselves.

People are saying everything is a love language nowadays, and they are right. Love is everything, "you fu*king geniuses"