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Kings County Crown


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Katie Merz

Kings County Crown, 2021

Black gesso on oil stick on yupo

24 x 20"

Value: $199

*This piece is included in the Opening Night Collection.

Artist Bio:

Merz works on a variety of surfaces, but keeps them all accessible, humorous and clear. Merz's work can range from outdoor murals to framed individual pieces to comics on notebook paper. Influenced by Brooklyn, cartoons, architecture and the kinetic structure of things. Media has influenced the constantly changing surfaces that are worked upon. Synthetic, clear, moving and simple. No hierarchies are implied. Lines and respect for their changing integrity are what her practice is.

Her recent public work creates a convergence between graffiti, coding and the simple deduction of everyday language. These urban hieroglyphics appear to be simple, but on second glance they illustrate a wildly animated library of dialogues, notes, words, architecture, math and random visual connectors. Because of their pictographic nature, they are very inclusive and can be easily read by anyone. The walls are kinetic maps. They are basic black and white blueprints of the specific sites and subjects that they depict.

Merz's process is similar to that of a journalist. She gathers information,
does research, walk, talk and engage people; then makes a dossier of words, elements and interests. She then takes this gathered information and begins to draw pictographic symbols of language. This language becomes a permanently imbedded tale that reflects the tenor of the information gathered. Her process is instantaneous and kinetic and is inextricably linked to my history of growing up on Brooklyn Streets.

Merz grew up in Brooklyn and earned her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art. She has exhibited nationally including the Brooklyn Museum. She is a recipient of the Pollock Krasner Grant, The Oberman Center Collaborative grant, and has been a fellow at the Chinati Foundation and the Macdowell Colony. She has recently been awarded The Augustus Saint-Gaudens lifetime achievement award from The Cooper Union School of Art and is in their Alumni Hall of Fame.