Katie Herzog in VoyageLA 3.4.19

Meet Katie Herzog


Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Herzog.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born blue. Low apgar. The first image I ever saw was the tattoo on my mom’s breast. As a child, my eyeballs were a playground for me, and I enjoyed spending time experiencing vision. A friend of my mom’s was in prison and used to send me cartoons she painted using m&m’s. Those were the first paintings I ever saw. My mom potty trained me using m&m’s as reward. One day, I brought my piggybank to a foam shop in downtown Palo Alto and bought a piece of foam to fit the dimensions of the floor in my closet and made stuff in there for the remainder of my childhood. I became an artist because I would do things like decorate one cookie for three hours, stuff like that. It was my destiny. I studied Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and tracked down a Professor of Optics at Brown University to work with on occasion. I read a book on the history of midwifery in the Providence Atheneum which sparked a deep interest in the intersection of information, power, and gender, which I continue to explore through art and activism today.

Please tell us about your art.
When I was concerned about painting’s inherent commodification limiting its scope as a purveyor of ideas, Ernest Silva suggested that painting is extremely democratic in the sense that anyone who can see can look at a painting and have a feeling. I have since sought training to teach drawing to the visually impaired via the incredible Seeing Through Drawing program at the Met, and I believe that experience indirectly led me to make the rubbing of the facade of the Internet Archive building in San Francisco.

I strongly identify as a painter and view painting as a surrogate brain to process information. Sometimes it comes out refined and conceptual in nature, sometimes I make paintings to objectify unprocessed trauma my brain can’t get a handle on. I love that painting can function in both capacities and I believe it is that particular relationship to knowledge itself that I am addressing through engaging libraries as content and context for my paintings.

Sources of inspiration include: Black Lives Matter, Dominatrixes Against Donald (DAD), the LARB Radio Hour, comedians Christina Catherine Martinez and Lizzy Cooperman, musicians Joseph Gárate, Diamanda Galas, and Jon Batiste, tattoo artist Denise Teixeira-Pinto, and the other Katie Herzog (katieherzog.org). The life and work of Sarah Cromarty will forever occupy substantial space in my heart. I am inspired by Deb Klowden Mann’s writing about her experience with Endometriosis.  I am inspired by my children’s teachers including Lisa Anand and Mayra Solis. I am inspired by the mind and deed of Andrew Choate: his writing, performance, radio show, art, and The Unwrinkled Ear Concert Series which showcases internationally renowned improvised music in Los Angeles. The next event is on April 14, 2019, at Coaxial – 1815 S. Main Street Los Angeles, 90015: Gerry Hemingway (drums)/ Samuel Blaser (trombone) Jeff Schwartz (doublebass)/ Anne LeBaron (harp)/ Charles Sharp (reeds). Andrew and I collaborate on an ongoing series of signage diptychs and a book of our paintings of signs in and around Los Angeles (and their poetic refractions), published by Rebel Hands Press, will be out this Spring. http://www.rebelhandspress.com Images of our 2016 exhibition at Klowden Mann can be viewed here: https://klowdenmann.com/exhibition-artfair-entry/exegesis-eisegesis-encaustic/

Lastly, I could not be an artist and mother of two small children without the continued support of my extraordinary husband of seven years, James.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
“Male Genius.”

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I currently have work in the group exhibition “Distance: Works on Paper by Skowhegan Alumni” curated by Betsy Alwin and Steve Locke, on view through April 7, 2019, at Dorsky Gallery: 11-03 45th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101.

I have a forthcoming exhibition at Sol Treasures in King City, CA.

I made a painting that is printed on the Whittier Library Card (go get one!), and one of my paintings is permanently installed above the circulation desk. Whittier Central Library: 7344 Washington Ave, Whittier, CA 90602

In 2012, I made 48 oil portraits of Trans Men and Women Of Letters titled “Transtextuality: Senate Bill 48.” The work is currently in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and is available to loan for exhibitions. It was shown at Night Gallery in 2013:


My work is represented by Klowden Mann Gallery in Culver City.

I will have work in a forthcoming group exhibition at the Madison Public Library on view April 20th to May 29th 2019.

Click here for more information.