Kristina Libby - Artist
My art is about moments of transformation. Transformation, in my case, is threefold: for me personally, in the natural world and between myself and the viewer.
My art career changed began in 2019 when I suffered a traumatic brain injury from a kitesurfing accident. Oil painting provided an escape and then ultimately a way of understanding the searing pain, visual distortions and extreme fatigue that were symptoms of the injury. As I painted, I experienced almost revelatory engagement with the art. I found myself drawing subjects that calmed my mind and allowed me to capture moments that produced within me a sense of awe. Prior to this moment, I had never painted. Now, my life is forever changed.
The natural settings and materials that drive my art highlight the constant collective and global transformation of the world. People spend less than 7% of their time outside and complain of extreme loneliness and disconnection. I want to paint the sublime moments of the natural experience and force people to reckon with it in their lives. This art is meant to connect, to remind people of the world outside their doors and to encourage them to contemplate a wider wonder-filled environment. Pieces that reflect moments where the sun slips behind the horizon, or clouds sweep across the sky, or the moon breaks through the dark night are about the constant mutable nature of our world. As such, they should be a reminder that we as natural things are also constantly capable of transformation.
Whether standing in front of a painting or experiencing a public art piece, I want to provoke the viewer into personal reflection and catalyze micro-transformation. A floral heart piece — in the COVID series — acts as a blessing, as a safe space, as hope, and hopefully provides a moment of distraction and remembrance of this strange moment. A painting creates a more individual moment and is more intimate in that it intends to calm your pain, reduces your fatigue and provides for you a sense of possibility in the same way it has done for me.
I have a B.A. from Dalhousie University and a M.A. from the University of Denver. A self-taught artist I currently resides in NYC where I am also a writer and technology executive. You can find more about my work outside the art world here.
“To give joy when there is pain is an act of opposition but in the best possible way” - Cynthia Erivo