Katie Grinell (b.1999) is a Jewish, multidisciplinary artist whose practice investigates darkroom photography, image capturing, collage, and painting. She uses her spontaneous yet meticulous, process-driven way of making to reflect mostly on memories of childhood at this moment. She recieved her BFA in New Studio Practice from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2021 with minors in Art History and Arts Management. 

Artist Statement 

My art practice connects analog photography, painting, animation, and digital methods. The inspiration for my work is using personal objects as materials, reflecting on past experiences to process the present. Invested in form and material, the use of objects such as flowers, crochet, sequins, and textiles connects my reality and abstract work. Regularly seen are recycled and transformed pieces, gestures, and imagery because the life cycle of my work is not definitive and continues as material. An abstracted environment created from manipulated, found objects is the form my art usually takes. The audience may not see a direct translation from the initial inspiration but be immersed in an environment that evokes related emotions. My work has analyzed memory, mental health, feminisms, Jewish art and identity, and the influences of the internet.

Part of my practice is creating snapshots of my thoughts through animation in the form of gifs. Using a scanner to create stop-motion animations that express reflections and almost confessionary thoughts, I transform a machine typically used for documentation into a personal tool to transcribe intimate narratives in motion. My work questions accessibility and value in online spaces by purposefully utilizing gifs as non-traditional forms of fine art to navigate and take up space on the internet.

An ongoing series of mixed media paintings explores early childhood memories by sourcing imagery from my blankets, books, and toys (as seen in the piece There’s a Mess on the Kitchen Floor). I evoke experiences reminiscent of my youth growing up on digital devices by combining physical and digital processes to create a relationship between youthful gestures, like in painting, and digitization’s static distortion. The viewer is immersed in an abstracted environment while maintaining a playful aura, embracing child-like. My recent work explores shared memories growing up in the digital age and the prolonged use of devices and platforms: specifically the effects on younger people.