Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor Kibby.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I grew up in a family of artists, musicians, and risk-takers but it took a few twists and leaps to make my way to the sculpture practice that I have now. I went to culinary school to study pastry and worked for a few years as a pastry chef and baker in restaurants around Los Angeles. It was during the time I was baking bread (which means crazy hours and strangely free afternoons) that I found my way back to working on artistic pursuits. I began working in clay and stone, both mediums that require you to engage in a really physical negotiation to bring about a finished piece. The shift from temporal pastry work which gets consumed to work with materiality meant to last forever was strangely easy, the techniques of both types of making are so similar they seem to inspire one another. I definitely feel that I’ve taken the tools of baking into my sculptural work. What I find especially inspiring is the way that baking blends together disparate techniques to build something multilayered. I try to take that into my sculpture in an effort to make work that inspires investigation and exploration of what you don’t know you don’t know.
It was when I realized that sculpture was the practice that brought me the most fulfillment that I decided to return to school for a Master’s of Fine Art. I joined the Applied Craft and Design program at PNCA in Portland, OR in 2016. It was during those two years that I really learned how much joy you can find in being challenged by your own work and the thoughts and work of others. After graduating in 2018, I moved back to my hometown of Los Angeles and have since set up my own studio in Boyle Heights where I make sculptural work focused on the kinetic possibilities of parts being brought into a system to work together. I’m still very much figuring out what it means to be a practicing artist, but the fear of the unknown is something I’m starting to transform into the joy of unknown possibilities.
Please tell us about your art.
I make ceramic sculpture with a few toes dipped into stonework. My recent work has focused on the use of ceramic chain-links to build structures that have a movement and mind all their own. By making work in raw clay and avoiding the use of glaze I am able to create ceramic work that is kinetic and can shift through time and space. I find it really important for work to challenge us to navigate our shared space in new ways. I am fascinated by the way objects to move together and give and take space from each other.
What do you think about the conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
I think being an artist today is a decision made from a place of dedication to what fires you. It isn’t easy financially, and many artists, myself included, have to juggle a few jobs to make it work. But the social support of a creative community has a massive positive impact on how artists survive. Los Angeles especially has introduced me to so many wonderfully generous people and generative relationships. I think that the best thing any city can do to support artists is to create spaces for the exchange of support and inspiration, whether they be physical or more ephemeral.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
The best places to see my work are my Instagram: @grit.studio and my website: TaylorKibby.com, but I also have the occasional open studio and love to connect with people in person!
I’m so excited to be apart of an upcoming group show at A-B Projects this winter, more details to come, so keep an eye out. You can also see my work at Still Life Ceramics at The Row Downtown and I have a newly installed piece in the Kelly Wearstler designed Santa Monica Proper Hotel.
The best support is to hear what people connect! Come to shows, like and share photos, and invest in owning work.
I’m awed that I am able to do my work with the support of others and I couldn’t be more thankful for any and all encouragement and engagement.
- Website: TaylorKibby.com
- Instagram: @taylor.kibby