Mary Kate Barkley
Kitsch is definitely my niche. For quite some time my
artwork has been reasonably gaudy, but about a year ago I adopted a new
way of thinking that has spiraled my work into a whole new level of
tackiness. What would Grandma do?
What’s tackier than the inside of Grandma’s
doublewide? Well, nothing, but it is my personal goal to create work
that is just as garish as an old lady’s crocheted baby doll dress.
There’s one problem though, I’m not old. That means I’m not a big
fan of the country ducks theme, and I’m not into embroidering rep-offs
of the “Precious Moments” characters. While I will sometimes add
silk flowers to my work, my use of googly eyes is a little more
unconventional then what you will find at your average craft show in the
The series of assemblages I have been creating for the
past year is made, with a few minor exceptions, entirely from items
purchased at Walmart. Their arts and crafts section doesn’t have much
to offer, but I find that to be both a challenge and an aid. I am
assured that when I am done shopping I will have very little that could
be used in a tasteful and conservative manner.
I like to make people smile. I accomplish that by
creating whimsical work with absurd, happy images. I almost always get a
laugh. Even though my color choices are excessively bright, and my
subject matter is sometimes a it off the wall, there is always at least
a hint of Grandma’s poor taste in each of my pieces.