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Kelly Watson – bio

Kelly Watson was born in Farmington, New Mexico in 1996. She is currently a BFA student at the University of New Mexico, with an expected graduation date of Spring 2017. She resides in the Albuquerque metropolitan area with her daughter. Watson discovered her passion for printmaking while completing her Associates in Studio Arts at Central New Mexico Community College. She has since continuously tested the limits of her artistic abilities and conceptual ideas. Watson tries to increase the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations. With Plato’s allegory of the cave in mind, she makes work that deals with the documentation of events and the question of how they can be presented. The work tries to express this with the help of telling a story or creating a metaphor. Her works directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. By examining the ambiguity and origination via retakes and variations, she makes work that generates diverse meanings. Her works are saturated with obviousness. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. With a conceptual approach, she makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Her works question the conditions of appearance of an image in the context of contemporary visual culture in which images, representations and ideas normally function.

Artist Statement

I create work that focuses on personal identity and ones’ relationships with their community while shedding light on social injustices. I am inspired by the intimate connections individuals have with each other as well as interpersonal connections within ourselves. I am currently working on a body of work that relates to my experience with cancer. This work has been therapeutic and has allowed me to validate my experience. My work is created from raw emotion which translates into my work through semiotics and representation.

I am a printmaker and photographer by trade. For my print work I use intricate lines and graphic aquatint to add contemporary aesthetics to the work. Through this process I am able to remove pieces from the matrix as the cancer has been removed from me. We are left with a beautiful piece of work that has gone through a transformation as I have while creating the work. My photography comes from a photo documentary/postmodern style that allows the viewer to see the triumphs and downfalls of my journey.

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