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Kristen van Diggelen Sloan
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2019

Sloan’s paintings and sculptures aim directly at the eternal. They are visual remnants of an unrelenting pursuit of the invisible. Her ceramic sculptures are inspired by the Southern craft tradition of the face jug, and the desert mothers (women portrayed as harlot and heroine, Babylon and Jerusalem) who mastered what the poet/philosopher John O’Donohue called “the art of inwardness, or pedagogy of interiority.” Sloan paints from her own sculptures and found objects, employing Baroque virtuosity to create often monumentally scaled portraits of a spiritual journey or condition. She looks to Rembrandt for creating divine light and enchanting darkness; Jay DeFeo for combining representation with abstraction and Baroque still life painting to peer, dimly, into the riddles of common experience. The scale of her work functions within a similar discourse Mark Rothko used to describe his pictures: “…you are in it, it is not a reducing commanding experience, but one that is human and intimate."

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