Artist's Website: http://www.kristinapenhoet.com
Kristina seeks to find beauty in the strange and ugly through consideration of the underbelly of human experience/emotions by the creation of provocative abstract sculptural forms. Past work has manifested feelings of betrayal, loneliness and abandonment that have become such a universal part of human existence. Some of her more recent work has explored the definition of identity and its meaning to oneself and others. By examining the ways in which we categorize people and the potential repercussions of such classifications, she invites the viewer to question if it is possible to truly know someone through typical identifiers and conventional relationships. Her most recent body of work questions the definition of boundaries and binding by examining the ways in which we categorize, restrict, and contain facets of ourselves and others. The abstracted forms invite the viewer to question the limits and separations of our shared contemporary experiences.
Taking cues from her life experience and environment, her work is often biomorphic. She creates each piece using traditional and modern felt-making techniques, incorporating other materials, such as glass, metal, plastic and textiles. Her choice of medium reinforces her themes and the tactile (and, sometimes, visceral) qualities of her work. Although much of her artwork is intended to be wall-hung, the pieces are intentionally unframed. Kristina believes that the nature of her work does not lend itself to the creation of a finite boundary and wants each piece to become part of its environment, inviting the viewer into the experience.
Kristina began working with fiber and textiles as a small child, learning to crochet and sew during her summer visits to her grandmother’s farm on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. She continued to pursue her love of making during quiet moments while earning a degree in biology and working in a hospital. Working at a job that she hated despite its generous salary, she realized she needed to commit fully to a more creative life. Kristina attended Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, concentrating on sculpture and environmental design, and began working in model-making, film production and stage design. Inspired by the production design work and a continued interest in form and space, she pursued by a graduate degree in architecture. After 10 years of architectural practice, she rekindled her love of making and rediscovered fiber as a medium to create abstract sculptural forms.
Originally from Oregon, Kristina currently resides in Washington, DC with her family and a naughty dog that wants to be good.