Through this literal lens of antique appreciation, our artist of the week, Kat Silver, sees the world differently. She has a deep respect for the past and its ghost-like glimmer in old objects.
“Antiques have a residue of life on them that I find intoxicating” she says.
Her unique love for the past is exemplified by her taste in holiday season music:
While many ride the redundant carousel of synthetic pop-ifed carols, Silver listens to a different kind of holiday music. That is, Billie Holiday music. The famous nostalgic voice accompanied by old-timey sound-fuzz and a record player’s rocky revolutions is what puts Silver in “a jolly holiday spirit.”
Her paintings reflect her unique vision. It is both universally relatable and historically woven. Her work combines surrealism, magic, and sarcasm.
One of the most idiosyncratic qualities of her canvases is the recurrence of rabbits.
Rabbits as a motif, figure, not only in her paintings, but also her life. When she moved to Philadelphia years ago, she began to notice rabbits everywhere.
“I was seeing them everywhere to the point where I started to feel like I was in a Disney movie or something,” she jokes, “it was a little creepy and unreal.”
This sent her onto a literal and figurative rabbit chase on the Internet.
Through her link hopping, she discovered that in certain cultures, rabbits are freighted with profound significance as a spirit guide animal to the “shadow self.” The cotton-tailed creatures are said to spiritually lead individuals to face their fears and insecurities.
“For years, partially due to my sheltered upbringing, I had let my anxiety and fears of not knowing what to expect keep me from trying new things or putting myself out there,” she says.
But this changed due to her kindled kinship with rabbits.
“Now anytime I feel fear rise I up I know that is an area of my life or an issue that needs my attention. Instead of letting them hold me back, I examine and push through my fears.”
Many of the figures in her compositions are also saturated with this spiritual guidance. From the two suited men in Suits on a Sofa, to the odalisque in Fertile Ground, to the red-frocked girl in Taking Flight, the rabbits are omnipresence. This suggests that while insecurities and fear may be universal, so is the power to overcome them.
Silver’s unique ability to read beyond the rampant anxieties and materialistic fluff that clouds the world, is evident in her richly symbolic and meaningful art.
“In our modern social media, technology-filled world, I think many people miss out on the bigger picture of life,” she says.
Her role as a mother, as if an overflow of nurturing, cultivates her artistic ideas.
“It is interesting because I normally get my ideas from my new paintings while I am occupied with my motherly duties…I let my mind wander and daydream. Fantastic and strange images pop in my mind, I am able to see them clearly” she says.
Whatever its name, “mother’s intuition” or an “artist’s eye,” Kat Silver possesses this awareness of the greater workings of the world – as if the omniscient narrator of her own life.
She also is a studied healer with a background in Art Therapy.
“I found art therapy extremely intriguing and I enjoy helping others discover how to use art to communicate and express deep complicated emotions,” she says.