Kate Marshall lives and works in Devon, UK.
Paintings do not need to be about sex to be sexy. The medium alone can suggest an eroticism that can be quite intoxicating. A dribble of paint, a strong swipe of charcoal, or a crimson brushstroke can all be very exciting. Often the paintings that I find the most stimulating are of innocent subjects. It is the way that they have been executed that is sexy. I find that I am left cold by the lack of pleasure taken in the materials of some “erotic art.” I do not classify myself as an erotic artist, but rather as an artist who sometimes paints images from a sexual source. For me the art comes first.
I usually get my inspiration from Google image searches. These almost inevitably produce images of a sexual nature, even from very innocent words or phrases. The idea of recycling images and objects that are past their sell-by date–that are trashy, quaint, or nostalgic–appeals to me. By painting them I hope to offer them up to a new audience.
My latest series is called Portrait of the Artist as an Artist and is a tongue-in-cheek response to many assumptions and stereotypes of the artist. The figure of the artist is so often used in fiction as shorthand for someone who leads a life of late nights, who engages in sexual excess, and who consumes intoxicating substances. My paintings on this theme play with my own pleasure in exploiting this concept, as well as the public’s desire for the artist to fulfill this role.
As a feminist, I am aware of the problematic use of the female form in art. I was very conscious that my paintings were previously of other women, and I decided that if I was to use them, I should be prepared to use myself. Portrait of the Artist as an Artist is based on photographs I have taken of myself. Ever the madam never the whore…no more!