Katie Butler

Akron, OH

These paintings deal with the challenges of disinformation, divisiveness and political turmoil currently facing the United States. Illogical shifts in perspective and curated moments of chance point to an era of tension and uncertainty. In these still life paintings, fish are personified. They are freshly caught and facing an inevitable fate. Sharp knives teeter on the edge of a plane, heightening the sense of trepidation. Newspapers loom above eye level with anxiety inducing headlines. All of this exists in a space that feels familiar, with nostalgic patterns and domestic settings. The line between comfort and discomfort is blurred in a time of quarantine and crisis.

Formal and compositional elements emphasize these turbulent moments in the painting space. Areas of flat color, pattern, and objects sit side by side, each treated disparately. Space is distorted through flattened planes and skewed perspectives, lacking rationality. Exaggerations in scale and tight compositions increase the tension. This work points to the overwhelming sense of uncertainty and division facing us as a country, as well as how the relentless news cycle permeates our everyday lives. It grapples with the current political climate in the United States through symbolism and narrative.