Kristy Luck’s paintings reference landscapes in a mystic and psychologically-charged way. Rather than creating works about landscapes, Luck uses the backdrop to explore the possibilities of painting. The California-based Luck draws inspiration from both out outward and inward experiences. Her process is multi-layered, beginning with a drawing and adding layers of material until reaching her final composition. Luck lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
You are part of a young generation of female artists hustling and gaining recognition. What does being a part of a strong female community mean for you?
I feel lucky to know and learn from so many great artists who work hard and find ways to carve out space for what they value.
Which female artists, living or dead, inspire you most?
There are too many to name….hmm… Miriam Cahn, Carmen Herrera and Charline Von Heyl. Lately I have been particularly interested in the work of Carol Rama and Clarice Lispector.
Have you experienced firsthand the underrepresentation of female artists in the art industry?
I am sure I have. However, in my experience those situations don’t really present themselves as such in the moment. But statistics released every year still confirm what we all know: the work of women and minorities continues to be underrepresented and undervalued in the art world.
Have you noticed a change in opportunities available for female artists since you first entered the art world?
I’ve noticed more all female shows. I think there is an increased awareness of the imbalance of representation and sales. I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge change though. Before entering the art world in a serious way I had a very limited viewpoint and in some respect I think I still have a limited viewpoint. I certainly know more today but I am always learning more about how and why it operates the way it does as I continue to engage with it.
If you could change one thing about the current landscape for working female artists what would it be?
To not treat femininity like it’s a special condition. In other words, to not treat women who succeed and make their mark as anomalies or special cases rather than central figures.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
From working with kids. From women who really pour their hearts out. From what Eileen Myles writes about poetry. From my personal family photos and the daily practice of journaling. From Agnes Varda and Michael Haneke films.
What is your process like?
I am a morning painter. I have a studio upstairs in my apartment and I tend to bring pieces downstairs to live with for awhile before I decide if something is finished. My paintings start with creating and refining the surface. The first layer of paint is a translucent “drawing” that covers the entire canvas. This creates the underlying structure and commitment to my composition. I then slowly add layers of paint with wax and build up intuitively with little to no planning.
What movements in art history most inspire you?
Lately, 16th century scientific illustrations, early illuminated manuscripts, Persian miniatures, William Blake/Romanticism and the Chicago Imagists. What are you excited for this year? I am excited to start working larger and see how things transform with scale shifts. For the past few years I have primarily worked in a smaller format but I am developing a new body of larger paintings in the coming months.