Kailey Barrows is a queer person of color exploring oil, watercolor, and digital media, pursuing their BFA as a Painting and Illustration dual major at UMass Dartmouth. Exploring intimacy relating to mental health, relationships, and sexuality through their digital and traditional work, they have a figurative focus and connect their subjects to themes surrounding memory, specifically cognitive dissonance, dissociation, and discomfort confronting oneself in the context of others. Kailey has been drawing inspiration from the essence and mood captured by analog photography. Kaileys work has been exhibited and sold at Levitate Wellness and On The Lawn PVD in 2019.
In this recent work, I am interested in capturing the feeling of intimacy related to personal memories while exploring themes such as mental health, sexuality, and relationships. Memory interests me because of how uncertain and untrustworthy it can be. We remember something one way, even if it happened differently, because the lens of our entire lives is always a present filter over the past. I desire to capture quiet everyday moments that are heavy with uncertainty, prompting the viewer to wonder what they stumbled into.
My fascination with film photography has fueled my creative process when it comes to painting and illustration. where I often find captivating imagery in the beauty of candid moments.I witness a correlation with film and the process of painting. I use my fingers to smear oil around on a canvas, I hold the brush in various ways to achieve different results; I feel the same presence of my physical body interacting with art interacting with analog photo media. Film carries the mood that I want to instill in my paintings. The hazy atmosphere, the grain and gritty textures, soft out of focus areas, are all aspects I want to evoke in my work.
I'm seeking to create characters more than mere resemblances of likenesses in my work. To me, what makes a painting interesting is not the near-perfect rendering of the subject but rather the painter’s interpretation of it.