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Cathleen Klibanoff

Cathleen Klibanoff

I’m an escape artist — not the Houdini variety — Chinese water torture cell escapes and other death defying feats, but rather my life as a creator allows me to journey between worlds and beyond.

I’m an escape artist — not the Houdini variety — Chinese water torture cell escapes and other death defying feats, but rather my life as a creator allows me to journey between worlds and beyond.

I grew up with a father who is British and a scientist- conservative, always playing devil’s advocate, and a mother who’s Italian, who’s amazing, and kind, and gentle and warm and nurturing. I am both fire and ice. I am pragmatic with a vivid streak of fantasy. Art for me is my way of sewing the spine on the book, bridging the practical with the not so practical. I call that storytelling.

I love stories. I’ve always loved stories. Early in life, those stories were white lies or embellished versions of the truth- child’s play. As years passed, the stories were running commentary of my real life. I would always be reaching for the next story, for the next experience, so that I had something to share, to pass on, to digest and artistically express.

I never went to school to become an artist. It was just something I did. And for the majority of my life, I did it on a part-time basis. My parents were on a perpetual campaign for me to “get a real job”. As one of five children there was no wiggle room to be anything less than a mainstream employee with benefits. So I climbed the ladder until I was part of the executive cloud, but the air was thin and my soul was suffering.

I lived far and wide, the majority of my years being in New York City-lots of opportunity, lots of risk taking, lots of stories…. and my part-time-closet-inner artist was taking notes. But stories need a place to go. In facts that’s the definition of trauma- when something happens in your life and you don’t have a file folder for it. Your mind doesn’t know how to match it up with what you’ve known, what you’ve experienced. Now that I have committed to art as a full time practice, I’m able to reach back into the archives as a steward of stories and pull forward these memories and use them to inform the direction, the nuance, of whatever piece I’m working on.

My work is primarily figure based. I build my stories around people, not places. I love to travel. I’ve lived in a number of cities, but it’s the people that become the markers, the weigh stations, the sign posts of those times in my life, not the address.

Animals play a critical role in my art. I have a Great Pyrenees, Toy Aussiedoodle and two Devon Rex cats. I love animals because they are not conflicted. They are pure channels of spirit. Animals bypass the critical factor inviting the viewer to an intimate dinner with the artist.

When I say I’m an escape artist, I’m not trying to leave this life behind. I just want to design the largest envelope possible and fill it with people and animals… and soulful voice.

Exhibitions

FemArt Gallery

Jacksonville, FL

January – March, 2020

Indianapolis Art Center

Indianapolis, IN

February – March, 2020

Grand Bohemian Art Gallery | Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC

October 2020

ZaPow’s Second Annual WNC Illustration & Pop Art Open Show

Asheville, NC

March – April, 2020

Modern Wave Art Gallery

Asheville, NC

December 2020

Contact Me