About

(Kristen@kristenmargiotta.com) IG@kristenmargiotta

 

Kristen Margiotta is a Delaware based contemporary oil painter and illustrator. Her passion for art is pervasive throughout her lifestyle. For over thirteen years, she has been exhibiting and selling her work, illustrating books, and actively participating in her local art community. She has been an instructor of art since that time, instructing at a variety of locations including at the college level. She is well known as an artist and instructor in her home state and currently has the largest number of Visual Art private lesson students in the area.

She has held two solo exhibitions, at Mezzanine Gallery, Wilmington, DE, and AFA Gallery, NYC. Kristen has exhibited in galleries and museums nationally and has been represented by the Pop Gallery, Santa Fe, NM since 2009. Her oil paintings are found in the homes of private collectors across the country, ranging from collectors of animation and cartoon art, to dark art and pop surrealism.

Kristen is a storyteller, and makes that the focus of her work. Her illustration work and fine art work have overlap, because to her, they are one in the same.  She is the illustrator of the Gustav Gloom book series published through Penguin Random House, found in countries throughout the world. 

Kristen’s interest in art began at a very young age, and she says it’s a lifetime commitment. Deep-rooted fears and relationships amongst people have always been a driving force of inspiration for her work. She combines traditional oil painting techniques with contemporary and imaginary subject matter, influenced by the Baroque and other old master work. She is known for her use of reds in her paintings, a color she associates with strength, passion, and lifeforce.

Her work consists of various facets, all an extension of her being. Her fine art and illustration work feature ominous gangly shadows to large eyed, sweet characters, inhabiting unsettling and surreal settings. Her recent oil paintings are non-figurative, focusing on symbolism and the human condition. She’s also returned to portrait painting, working directly from live models.

Themes such as fear and loneliness pervade her work, but there is a sense of strength and determination that comes through. Many viewers have stated Kristen’s paintings are not what they first appear to be. They’re not as “cute” or even as “dark” as some people initially think, they’re somewhere in between. They are often quoted as saying they can feel the drama unfolding in the painting, like a movie in motion.

Kristen is currently focussing on a new body of paintings, geared towards non-figurative symbolism, and plans to paint on a much larger scale than anything she has previously created. Her current themes will explore the human condition, specifically focussing on death, loss, and the severance of relationships. She hopes these larger pieces will create the physical space that both she and viewers state that her work creates, almost as if the viewer is a part of the scene itself.

Artist Statement

I am an oil painter and illustrator, but the two have always been synonymous for me. They both share similar aspects, especially style and execution. Ominous shadows, both real and imagined, are found throughout my work, as are large eyed characters in warped settings.

My paintings first begin as rough sketches, building the ideas through drawing first and then obtaining references where needed. I am a big advocate for working from life, so life references are important, and also referencing artists from the past who have influenced me as a person and as an artist. These artists span the Baroque and Renaissance periods, and beyond. Referencing these artists continues an ongoing dialogue over time.

The stories in my work continue to unfold and expand. It’s almost like a series of knots somewhere in my brain that I’m trying to unwind and organize to make sense of. Each new painting is another piece of the puzzle.

Themes such as fear and loneliness pervade my work. But I think there is a sense of strength and hope that comes through. My paintings are usually not how they first appear, that’s what many viewers have told me. I think this reflects on me as a person. 

In recent years my work is evolving and perhaps returning to earlier imagery focusing on symbolism.  I’ve also returned to portrait painting, something I’ve greatly missed over the years. The beauty of the evolution of my work is seeing that all of these different facets still feel like me and are all coming from the same place. I have never been a fan of labels, or boundaries. Those are dangerous. I just want to keep painting and growing as an artist and continue making connections with people through my art. That’s what it’s all about for me.

 

 

Photos above courtesy of Joe Hoddinott.

 

Live painting at Oddball Art Hall at Oddity Bar every month, always 3rd Friday (8pm-1am). Art Show + live model