1xRun Thru Interview
Metamorphosis by Kellesimone Waits
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about the original? What materials was it created with?
Kellesimone Waits: The original was created in 2012 and is 24×30 inches, colored pencil, on arches watercolor paper.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Kellesimone Waits: This piece is about gender specific assumptions, judgments, and perception, both negative and positive. The idea for this piece is also centered in my own curiosities and anxieties around my feminine identity. I usually start with a general idea, collect a lot of sources, make a few crappy pieces, and do a lot of writing before I settle into my visual content for new work.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Kellesimone Waits: That’s very subjective, and I don’t like to be wrong.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Kellesimone Waits: If you think it “unique” that would be a reason. If you want it you probably know that you do, and so you should.
1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
Kellesimone Waits: Metamorphosis.
1xRun: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Kellesimone Waits: When I was around 5, maybe younger. Around 4 or 5, when I discovered a way to make a drawing of a princess. It felt really important. The other kids really liked it, which made me happy. One kid asked how I had done it and I didn’t tell him. Still, I wasn’t fully satisfied because I couldn’t figure out the hair and the arms. I had left them sticking out like awkward noodles. I remember staring at it, hanging on a wall in the kitchen, hoping no one would see the flaws but also wondering why no one had called bullshit on the noodle arms and hair yet. I resolved to solve it at some point down the road. There’s a satisfaction in finding solutions that runs parallel with the frustration of being able to see the new problems that those solutions uncover. It’s self-perpetuating, and compulsive.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why? If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Kellesimone Waits: Working with myself is challenging enough. Maybe it would be different with the undead, I haven’t tried that yet.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Kellesimone Waits: I usually listen to internet radio, just to have a track running other than my own inner dialogue.
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Kellesimone Waits: A painting inspired by the John Lennon and Yoko Ono photo by Annie Leibovitz. It’s a collaboration between two outsider artists, Rachelle Brodoski and Saul Jimenez-Perea. I bought it in 2005 from a gallery that I worked at in Santa Rosa. John Lennon has that noodle hair that my princess had, which is second only to his and Yoko Ono’s penis fingers. Yes, I still have it. It’s the best purchase I’ve ever made.
1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Kellesimone Waits: I’m not sure. I studied painting with Hung Liu at Mills College not too long ago, and she gave me a print of one of her paintings. It’s on a panel and coated in resin. It really glows.