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EXHIBITION VIDEO - KAT FLYN  |||  NO DEAD ARTISTS International Juried Exhibition



I construct scenes using Americana artifacts in a folk art style to create political and cultural narratives about contemporary American culture.



KAT FLYN is a self-taught assemblage artist working presently out of San Diego. She began her career as a costume designer in Southern California. Over the years she amassed a trove of artifacts and collectables which she began using to create assemblage art in the 1990’s. In 2000 she sold her business and moved to Cuyamaca, a remote community in the mountains outside of San Diego to devote herself exclusively to her artwork. In 2003 her work was interrupted when the Cedar Fire swept through San Diego county and destroyed the forest, her home & studio along with almost all of her collections and works of art. Following the fire she relocated to San Francisco, where she spent a decade concentrating on her art in her studio in SOMA and exhibiting at galleries in the Bay Area. In 2015 she returned to San Diego and now works out of her studio in La Jolla, exhibiting there and in Los Angeles.


Kat Flyn refers to herself as an Assemblage Sculptor and her works as Political Art or Protest Art. She separates herself from other assemblage artists in that she only employs “saved” as opposed to “found” objects in her work; and her pieces always have a political or cultural narrative to them rather than being surreal or abstract. She also constructs or refashions many of the pieces which she uses in her art – a soft drink box into a tenement building (Affordable Housing 2017), a jewelry box into a wheel chair (Last Lily Foot 2016), an old shoe shine box into a hearse (Katrina 2018). The result is her work is closer in appearance to Folk Art than Assemblage Art.


The artist says of her practice...


Strictly speaking I am an assemblage artist, but in fact I construct more than assemble my works. I search out collectables, artifacts and wood carvings and then build scenes to make statements regarding American society. Even when using artifacts from earlier centuries, my theme is almost always about contemporary America. Social injustice, racism, sexism, and violence - aspects of our national psyche – exist in the present but have their seeds planted in our past. Additionally, the artifacts I use, often are meant to amplify the meaning of the work. For instance, the Black stereotype wood figures I use in many of my pieces were almost certainly crafted by a White person. By using such artifacts I ask: what kind of society produces such items in the first place?


In my art I make a strict distinction between found objects and saved objects. A found object - which most assemblage artists use in their works - is devoid of intrinsic or emotional value, having been discarded by its owner as worthless or broken. A saved object on the other hand has retained value, either because it was intrinsically valuable or because emotional value had been added to it (such as a photograph, an old shoe, a vintage toy) and consequently it was saved rather than discarded. The fact that I only use “saved objects” often results in viewers being attracted to the individual pieces within my works rather than seeing the narrative I am attempting to portray.


The pieces on display in this exhibit stretch from my early works such as my Ghost Portrait Series - where I attempt to capture a sense of what life might have been like for the person featured in each work – right up to my current work, which I loosely label “Ripped From The Headlines” - where I deal with contemporary issues such as prison reform, climate change, immigration, #MeToo, and #Black Lives Matter. I try to keep my visual presentation somewhat on the cartoonish side, which may seem odd given the seriousness of the subject matter – racism, poverty, immigration etc. However, I have found that viewers’ initial response to my work is more favorable when I visually phrase my topic in this way. My goal is to get viewers to pause long enough to see past the art and into the narrative advanced by my work. 

Curriculum Vitae

2020   Bedford Gallery,  Lesher Center for the Arts, Birds, Walnut Creek, CA
           Oceanside Museum of Art, Biennial 2020, Oceanside, CA

2019   White Noise, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA

           Solo Show, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA

2006   Solo Show, The Athenaeum, La Jolla, CA



2020    Inspiration in Isolation, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA

2019    Art on Paper, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New York, NY

           Open Show, Los Angeles Art Association, Los Angeles, CA

2018   22nd Annual No Dead Artists International Juried Exhibition, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA

           Bunk, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA

           Auction, Los Angeles Art Association, Los Angeles, CA

2017   Annual Juried Exhibition, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA

           Auction, Art for Aids, San Francisco, CA

           Incarceration, Orange County Center for the Arts, Los Angeles

2016   Casey at Bat, National Pastime Museum

           Safe at Home, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA

2015   Exhibition Juror Show, The Athenaeum, La Jolla, CA

           Art for Aids Auction, San Francisco

2014   Exhibition Opening, Artspan, San Francisco

           Auction, Art for Aids, San Francisco

2013   Jerry Malloy Negro League Exhibit, Yogi Berra Museum, Little Falls, NJ

           Four Square, ARC Gallery, San Francisco

2012   Art of Baseball, George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco

           San Francisco Fine Arts Fair, George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco

           Consequences, ARC Gallery, San Francisco

           Lost & Found, ARC Gallery, San Francisco

2011   Dollhouse, ARC Gallery, San Francisco

2010   Guerrilla Art, ARC Gallery, San Francisco

2009   Artfully Reclaimed, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Navato, CA

2008   The Dream of Memory, ARTwork SF Gallery, San Francisco

           About Face, ARTwork SF Gallery, San Francisco

2007   Breaking Ice: African Diaspora, ARTwork SF Gallery, San Francisco

           Artfully Reclaimed, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Navato, CA



2016   Casey @ Bat, National Pastime Museum

2016   Three commissioned works honoring the Negro League & the first female MLB Players, National

           Pastime Museum

2015   Juror’s Choice, The Athenaeum, La Jolla, CA

2013   Jerry Malloy Negro League Exhibit, Yogi Berra Museum, Little Falls, NJ

2011   Juror’s Choice, Artspan, San Francisco, CA

2007   Juror’s Choice, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Navato, CA