She is an adventurer. Not of the outdoor sort of bungee jumping, paragliding, backcountry skiing, et cetera, but artist Kim Goldfarb makes her own adventure on a blank board coated with gesso and then taps into the unknown where she creates her discerning and creative mark.“It’s been a very long process to get to where I am today,” Goldfarb says.“I’m an adventurer, while I’m intrigued by outdoor adventure, my adventure comes when I walk into my studio, I never know what’s going to happen every day when I walk into the studio.”
Born in a small southern town in Georgia, Goldfarb fostered her artistic passion spurred by her mother’s artistic influence, and interestingly enough, the scent of acrylic oil paints—like many acclaimed artists who are drawn to the materials that make the medium. At a young age she remembers her first inclination to art by way of finger painting, and soon after by studying forms and figures in books her mother encouraged. Most recently she is studying photography books on faces.
“When I was two- or three-years old my mom was doing art with oils and more than the visual element, it was the smell that’s so primitive, so familiar, and I said ‘Ooh, I want to do that,’” she says. “With finger painting, I loved the whole process of being creative at that age. I was convinced I wanted to be an artist.”
Goldfarb is predominantly a painter but is also a sculptor and glass designer. Now hailing from her Los Ranchos, New Mexico studio along the Rio Grande River, she creates images that exhibit the female form and also the animal form—at times in graceful combination.
“As a sculptor, glass designer and painter, the thread that weaves them together is the thrill of discovery and love of the human and animal form,” she writes. “I am consistently driven to express my love of this beautiful planet and its inhabitants. I feel that we are all connected. In my work I often portray human animal hybrids. In some ways this is my expression of how connected we all are. A lot of the work that I do is stream of consciousness. I feel that somehow I know these beings that I paint and sculpt on some deep emotional level. They have a need for expression and I am happy to be the vehicle through which they come into being.”
Elephants and chimpanzees make up the bulk of her animal portrayals and have such significance for the artist, “They’re evolving just like we are and I am just so positive they understand more than we know.”
Goldfarb took a hiatus from painting to pursue sculpture then returned to the drawing board in 2008, quite literally as drawing is the foundation and inspiration for all of her paintings.
“Drawing is such a key element to all of my artwork,” she says. “I had a really good foundation at university. I was in heaven learning about sculpture, it was odd that I taught myself. Driftwood suggests the human form for me.”
Goldfarb would air-dry clay on top of wood, making layers to dry properly, then explore thrift stores to find cloth to make costumes for her characters. It was a new creative avenue. She then decided to pursue painting again with inspiration from a film on renowned artist Jackson Pollock.
“He was throwing paint around developing his style, it was so innovative, it was so emotional, and I realized how much I missed painting—whatever it is in painting, I wasn’t able to do in sculpture,” Goldfarb says.
She is joined in her artistic pursuits with her partner, husband and sculptor Peter Wright. They share critique and support of their individual work…they don’t however share studio space she says with a laugh.
“We rely on one another for feedback…I love the fact I’m married to another artist,” says Goldfarb. “I really enjoy it because he understands the process. We’re both interested in tribal art, the primitive quality, the ancient arts… he gives me a piece of advice, I sit with it from what he suggests, and then decide to make changes. And often for me it is good to start a new painting before making changes to another.”
Goldfarb earned her bachelor of fine arts at the University of Georgia, Athens. And today her collections grace the walls across the country, many in the Chicago area where she created a bulk of her work, and also had a showing overseas in Zuric, Switzerland.
“If all goes well I feel satisfied right away,” she adds. “There is a time when your consciousness comes into play…there is a time when it’s an intoxicating moment and you have that high that you get from it, it’s new and exciting. But it’s also good to walk away from your work and break the spell so you can look at it more objectively.
“But it’s the tiny things that make it your individual creation.”
Kim Goldfarb will present her work at the Peterson Roth Gallery where she will be exhibiting, as the artist describes, “a connection between my sculpture and my painting, showing side by side, where I’ve been and where I’m going.”
The exhibition runs through June 30.
206 NW Oregon Ave, Ste. 1 Bend
Sculptor Peter Wright will present his work in collaboration with artist Hib Sabin at Mocking Bird Gallery with an opening reception April 7 from 5-9 p.m. The exhibition runs through May 4.
869 NW Wall Street, Suite 100, Bend
Peterson Roth Gallery
Bend and Central Oregon are rooted in Western tradition, but contemporary artistic vision is not off the radar, and the Peterson Roth Gallery is proof.
Defining itself as Bend’s foremost contemporary gallery, artist and gallery director Ken Roth supports the interconnect of the public and the artist, upholding the mentorship of regional artists, and keeping the doors open to events such as the First Friday Art Walk at its downtown location.
“We opened our doors in December and have really received a warm reception,” says Roth who works with oil, acrylic and mixed media. He is a 25-year Bend local, teacher and now curator of the gallery. “Ultimately for me it’s a fascination with the idea of joining impression, a hunch of what I take into my daily life, put into the pictorial and the materials, how many ways you can use it to make a unified statement.”
Roth was a teacher of art at Central Oregon Community College and Mountain View High School lending not only to his own creative expression but encouraging his students to always keep exploring.
“As an artist it is really important to stay in it, stay in that sense of creative play,” Roth says. “Artists I want to have in the gallery are those willing to shake it up and challenge themselves. The hardest part of being an artist over the long term is keeping that sense of wonder.”
The Peterson Roth Gallery’s bulk of sales range from California’s Bay Area, Seattle and Portland catering to urban areas and contemporary, modern homes but not immune to Bend’s burgeoning growth.
“The gallery is a blank slate,” reads the website. “Encouraging the creative development of artists through all different kinds of mediums and influences.”
“My background as an artist is not so much of an art dealer. I am surrounding myself with what I do, a strong centered place,” Roth says. “The market will come. I keep a tight focus of what I like and on the quality. My best advice to artists is to be willing to work hard at your skills and be able to take risks. The important part of the process is to be willing to learn about yourself.