Honorable Mention - 2D Kitsch

Monster Madness


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 mall.

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.