Kate Steciw works as a commercial retoucher, one of the legions of post-production pixel-pushers building the texture of our image-saturated lives. Her artwork began as the “funny, fucked up, weird pictures” she would send back and forth with coworkers—the kind of casual slash-and-burn appropriation that constitutes the visual culture of the internet. Photoshop’s familiar capabilities get pushed in strange directions, vernacular images behave in unusual ways. She has quickly progressed from manipulated photographs to mixed-media assemblages, poised somewhere between the digital image and its odd physical incarnations, whether printed on a door mat, cast into an inspirational plaque, or catalogued by Ikea.
FROM THE ARTIST
“My earliest art interactions were through my parents. They always had these—I don’t want to call them weird—there were prints of master painters that were framed around the house. So I guess my earliest interactions with art were about not understanding authenticity, or value, because of these strange affordable reproductions. So I had a very weird relation to what then an actual art object was, and what a perceived art object was.”
—Interview with Serena Qiu
WHERE TO SEE IT
Kate Steciw’s solo show Boundless Hyper is at Toomer Labzda Gallery in New York through October 28. Her work has also appeared in exhibitions at Higher Pictures, Horton Gallery, BAMart, Stadium, Foxy Production, Primary Photographic Gallery, klausgallery.net, and The Green Room, London.
Her book The Strangeness of This Idea is available from Hassla Books.