Arty 30: THE CULT OF KK
KK is of course the American artist Karen Kilimnik. Her work, which involves painting, performance and 'scatter' installations is all about creating fantasy worlds in which Kilimnik herself is the chief protagonist. This is something which more usually manifests in the games that children play and may sometimes be continued by young men through role playing games. Young women are not encouraged to embrace their private passions publically - instead they are still expected to get on with the drudgey reality of homemaking.
Kilimnik is such an important artist because she seriously embraces the romantic - and by this I do not necessarily mean the slushy Mills and Boon variety but a much more contemporary form of romance which takes in drug dealer boyfriends, models, filmstars, the occult, Russia and the occasional European castle. The subjects of her work are things which mean something to her and as viewers we can tell that her paintings and installations are made with an intensity which only comes from a personal engagement.
The texts and images in this issue delve further into KK's world of fantasy, encompassing the misinformation that she spins around her own illusive self. The slipperiness of the real Karen is part of her allure. And it is this allure which draws me into her fascinating world again and again.
Cathy Lomax, Editor