Artist Laura Klopfenstein creates playful, expressive mixed media collages inspired by nature and social causes. Visit her website to see more of her portfolio.
I am a self-taught mixed media artist and mother of two children living and working in Austin, Texas. I love to laugh and make things, and help people on their journey however I can.
Growing up, I lived in Georgia, Minnesota, north Texas and Missouri. I spent a lot of time observing and connecting with nature. I also read a lot, learning through stories and words about people different than me. My first visit to a modern art museum connected those worlds for me; they no longer needed to be separate.
Both then and now, injustice and ignorance are everywhere, but there’s also a lot of beauty. We all share custody of our physical, emotional and spiritual space. And we are deeply connected to the living organism of earth. Linking these central concepts together is at the heart of my artwork.
I make expressive, intricate drawings and collages. They are playful with a bite, quietly explosive, rewarding to the patient viewer, and maybe even poetic. Artworks are layered using a variety of media on paper and canvas: acrylics, gouache, graphite, ink, water, magazines, encyclopedias, and secret tools.
I like to create imagery that is rooted in the natural world and summoned from my imagination, like a quirky naturalist. My works are informed by concepts of stewardship, activism, playfulness, and awe. Some are more personal and touch on the push-pull energy of social roles, such as being a woman and a mother in a patriarchal society.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
Ongoing series explore gender and labor roles, disposable culture, socioeconomic imbalance, and the beauty, fashion and food industries.
In my art practice, I enjoy working and playing with different media, sometimes according to my mood. Some artworks take a long time to complete and require patience and simmering. I like to put soft and hard, pretty and ugly, quiet and brash, together. My artistic process is guided by layering, the physical qualities of textures, forms and colors and storytelling and humor.
I like to use symbols to explore ideas—human teeth, manicured nails, fishing lures, plants/cacti and oceanic organisms. For example, I include teeth because as humans, we all have teeth no matter what we look like; thus, they are a shared connection.
In some of my other works I use fishing lures. I think they look like little people or ghosts when together—non-thinking masses with a permanent expression of confusion and apathy. I combine them with flora and fauna to share space with the fishing lure “people” all linked together in a dialogue.
Outside of my art practice, I work full time and enjoy being with my kids. They inspire, support, teach and remind me to be in the moment. Being a parent has been an unexpected motivator and oddly, a time management tool. Somewhere along the line I created my own systems to make art. If being an artist and a mother was going to work, I had to do it my way. And where there’s a will there’s a way—in all things.
Artist Laura Klopfenstein invites you to follow her on Instagram.
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