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Kristen van Diggelen Sloan
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2020

My oil paintings are the visual remnants of an unrelenting pursuit of the invisible. I adopt Baroque virtuosity to create large-scaled portraits of the interior life - unseen places within.

I am interested in the scientific pursuit of nature’s deep design and commonalties in mystical and contemplative practices found in all the world’s great religions. Mystical narratives nearly always transcend any type of institutionalism and speak of a universalism that I aim to address in a contemporary visual way.

My current series of paintings are about transformation and meditation. They reference mathematical order in nature, muqarnas in Islamic architecture and halos from Western art. Bullets, a virus, barbed wire or thorny thistles are transformed into radiant halos/mandalas.

I paint from my sculptures and found objects, looking to Dutch Baroque still life painting to peer, dimly, into the riddles of common experience; Jay DeFeo for combining representation with abstraction.

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