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Kristen Rego

Posted by Kate Singleton on

The six pieces in Kristen's show: Duro 3 - 12.

Where are you from originally and where do you currently live?

I am from North Olmsted, OH, about a twenty minute drive from Cleveland, and I currently live in Brooklyn, NY. I’m excited to announce I’ll be packing up and moving next month to the Hudson Valley to a live/work space in Peekskill, NY.

What is your background in art?

My art background goes as far back as I can remember. I recall at a young age seeing vibrating boundaries (complementary colors) on a book cover that jumped right off the page. I’ve been hooked on color theory ever since. I have a BFA in painting and drawing from Ohio State University and an MFA in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University.

The artist get ideas for composition at the grocery store. Photo: Kristen Rego.

Tell us a bit about the work in the show?

This series began as a secondary practice in the studio. While painting, I began recording each color I mixed on the paper bag to better understand my palette. By the time I reached the bottom, a composition revealed itself. Each line of paint worked together as a whole to create an unexpected illusion. This unintentional break through caught me off guard. It became something to investigate further.

How did you arrive at painting these dyptichs on paper bags?

The brown paper is a great painting space. The “lip” on the top dictates a composition that forms from top to bottom. The dypichs allow for these color interactions to occur twice. But what I love to see is the way the forms start out the same and end up in two different places by the end. It’s like one exists in an alternate universe. Same palette, two outcomes.

Duro 3 (detail)

In your artist statement you say, “I am an observer of the timeline and use of daily object.” Can you explain this a bit?

I have a history of using found/collected materials as a source for my work. The timeline refers to a slow change that occurs in common objects. The brown bags have a wide variety. Collecting them over time allows me to see how they change slightly in size, color, and texture.

My color palette has its shifts as well. While painting I experiment with repeating color mixtures that I expect will look the same, but turn out a little different each time. It’s like ending up somewhere new, but you don’t notice until you look back and see how far you’ve come.

"More of the Same" (detail) by Kristen Rego.

Your sculptural work with soap is pretty unusual and cool. What's it like working with the medium?

The physicality of the soap is really satisfying. The material allows me to expand my interest in color mixing into three dimensions. I enjoy the way sculpture forces my whole body to participate in the act. There are moments when the material is between a liquid state and solidification, where it drips, burns my hand, or gets out of control. But when the process settles down, I’m left with a piece that arrived by chance and could never be duplicated.

“Has the Birds Arrived” by Kristen Rego.

Kristen Rego website.

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  • This is brilliant work.

    Jessica Bell on

  • wow…I love the colors! Beautiful!

    Jackie on

  • These are pretty neat, Kristen!

    Louise on

  • such a great idea and the palettes are stunning. i also like the high/low aspect – fun and funny.

    katherine sandoz on

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