The Wet Paint Gallery at Key West, Florida is celebrating its first anniversary in February 2012 at Duval Street in Key West, Florida located in the same building as La Concha Inn. I had the honor of interviewing Kristen Carroll who is one of the owners of the gallery that is a favorite. I like it so much that it is one of my favorite places to visit. Here is the interview with Kristen Carroll about Wet Paint Gallery and Art in general.
1. How did you start your career as an artist?
I think the career of an artist is a lifelong journey – at least it was for me. From my childhood, I was drawn to all venues of creative expression. I sang, acted, painted, sculpted, wrote stories and plays, and I always found ways to give life to my creative voice. In my early 20′s, I was distracted by a strong desire for material things, and I spent the next decade working in the corporate world, painting when I could, but not often enough by any means. I had always planned to save enough money so that by the time I was 40, I could afford to pursue creative work full time, but the longer I waited to switch gears, the less likely that transition would be. When I met my wife Chris, who had been pursuing her art career full time for many years, I was overcome with almost a panic that my life was on the wrong track, profoundly. I started selling my work just recently in 2010, and my career as an artist took off very quickly. I am blessed in that my work has been very well received and well collected so early on.
2. Who were your idols and what was your inspiration from your idols
I admire so many artists, but a short list would have to include Frida Kahlo, Matisse, de Kooning, Herb Ritts, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. I love many local and emerging artists as well. I do believe the best is yet to be seen in art.
The inspiration I have gained from the artists I admire is probably evident in my bold use of colors and strokes, but I do think my style is unique.
3. How long have you been associated with Wet Paint Gallery at Key West?
My wife Chris and I actually own the gallery, and we opened in February of 2011. We are just about to celebrate our one year anniversary, in fact.
4. Will there be any festivals of your paintings in the future?
On February 17th, we are hosting a one year celebration at the gallery, and the completion of an A-Z figure series that I have been working on will be exhibited for the event.
The series came to life in March of 2011 and will be completed in time for the opening exhibit at Wet Paint Gallery on February 17th, 2012. The series has been aggressively collected, and pieces are currently in London, New York, Toronto, and in many other cities. Two of the pieces are in the Art Institute Museum in Siena, Italy, and one of the pieces will be entered into the prestigious Barnes Foundation Collection in Philadelphia later next month.
Each letter of the alphabet features a pairing of figures using a unique artistic style. From Pop Art to Digital Art to Abstract to Sculpture, this series touches on every major artistic style of the past several centuries and beyond. Upon completion of the series, a book will be published with images and descriptions of all the works, as well as the names and locations of the collectors of the pieces. This is a unique opportunity to own a piece of an original series of works that has already been collected the world over, and to be included in a book about the work.
5. What is your message from Key West to the world?
My message would actually be one I would borrow from our town of Key West, where we have adopted a One Human Family philosophy. Our lives are enriched by our diverse landscape, and life, like art, is much richer with more texture. No matter who we are or where we come from, we are all members of One Human Family, and we are all in this together.
Best wishes to you and your readers, Roberto. Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you.
Thanks Kristen for accepting my invitation to an interview. Best
wishes from Miami Florida.