Katie Butler

Akron, OH

“Sitting at the intersection of painting and politics, this work deals with the challenges of disinformation, divisiveness and political turmoil currently facing the United States. Illogical shifts in perspective, curated moments of chance and elements of collage, either literal or fictitious, point to an era of anxiety, uncertainty and mistruths. In these still life paintings, fish are proxies for individuals in positions of power. They are freshly caught and on full display. Encased in the paintings, framed by knives and tumultuous headlines, there is a sense of trepidation, yet they remain intact. Patterns that allude to nostalgia, domesticity, or the American flag frame the objects comfortably in a space that, through tilted planes, lacks rationality. There is a sense of familiarity and absurdity that exists simultaneously.

Areas of flat color, pattern, and objects exist side by side, each treated disparately. Space is distorted through flattened planes, multiple perspectives, and irrational scale relationships. A shape can act as both object and space. For a moment the audience may stop to question what they are seeing, inviting them to think about fact versus fiction, or truth versus “fake news” in today’s media universe. This body of work explores the need for skepticism in an era of disinformation and the impact of the permeation of the news cycle into everyday life, seeking to grapple with the absurdity of the current political climate in the United States through humor and narrative.”