Katie buckett : Art And Why It Matters


Tell me about yourself and art?

I’m an artist and musician from the US, living with my English husband.  My paintings are usually large-scale, hyper-real, and figurative.  I grew up in Ohio, my dad is Chinese, my mom is white, I survived Midwest suburbia by playing a lot of football.  I went to art school in New York, got involved in creative art scene in Buswick where I met my husband and moved to London.  I now work out of an art studio in The Bussey Building in Peckham and a music studio near Waterloo, creating things as a full-time profession.  I explore themes having to do with the human condition: light, love, truth-seeking, animals, conservation, dreams, innocence, sexuality, and beauty.  In my spare time I enjoy listening to new music, reading about science, philosophy and ethics. 


Why art?

For me, it’s always been a needed escape.  I’m full to the brim with energy and emotion.  Art is one of the only socially acceptable ways to unleash these things on a regular basis.  I find that the more creative I am with my art, my life, my business, my home, the more I get closer to finding freedom, happiness and creating my own myth of ‘the meaning of life’.  In other words, I don’t like being told what to do so Art is the only solution. 


Where do you think your creativity comes from?

I think that if aggression was illegal, I’d become a boxer.  This world is so limiting compared to the love and compassion I potentially have that this energy, in the form of ‘creation’, leaks out into everything.  If I’m dicing up carrots for a quick meal, I’m cutting them mindfully into equal parts, when I’m riding to work on my bike I draw soft curves into the puddles just for the beauty of it, If I’m going to meet a friend at a cafe, I’ll wear nothing but the colour red.  If everyone in the world were an artist and it was illegal not to make art.  I’d create by creating nothing, I’d wear only grey and speak not a word, creation’s my meat and 2 veg.

                                         What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

Thinking that I wanted to be a sunset when I grow up because nothing could be more beautiful.  And being uncompromisingly sad when my dog died.


What art do you most identify with?

My taste in art is a lot like my taste in reading material.  I like big ideas in a language I can understand.  I don’t like big, long, terrible words that no one understands that the author uses just to make himself seem smart.  So I like big bold and beautiful paintings that can emotionally move an adult and a child equally.  If it’s obvious that the artist is trying to be cool or intellectual, it can be distracting.  I make special exceptions for hard work, craftsmanship, large things and compassion as well.


If we were going to talk about your art, where would you want to start?

I guess I’d just want to know what you think and what it means to you.  I like to cause people to daydream so I guess I’d want to know what kind of things my paintings make you think of and I’d like to ask why you think you thought of them.  I find the mind fascinating.    

Do you own your own gallery?

No, I wish.


What role does the artist have in society?

I think it was Ruskin who said this, but I think it’s our duty to turn a mirror to the viewer.  To show them what they’ve already seen or already know only in a different light or a different perspective.  Sometimes it takes a small change to something you’ve always overlooked for you to see it for what it is and to know that it’s been right before your eyes this whole time.  Like love for yourself. 


What’s your favourite art work?

I love Michelangelo’s sculptures.  I like when something as cold and still as marble can so perfectly capture the emotional fragility in a human’s face.  It borders on magical and awakens the sleeping child in me.


What is your artistic outlook on life?

Don’t be sad, do something instead.  Don’t give up. Figure it out.  Combine it with something you know is right.  Scream it loud.  Take a rest, don’t feel bad about it.  Then do something again.  Find other people doing things, figure out how they do it, do some more stuff. If everyone disapproves or are offended, you’re probably on to something.  If no one cares, no worries.  Do it anyway.  Get paid. Don’t stop.  Repeat.


If there were one dead artist that you could hang out with for a day, who would that be?



If there were a magic power you could use in your art making, what would it be?

The ability to watch other people’s dreams like being at a movie theatre.  Or painting in three dimensions without need for support.


What moves you most in life, either to inspire or upset you?

I don’t like suffering and pain.  And I don’t like when people are aware of others’ suffering and don’t have compassion.  I Love love and compassion, especially for strangers and creatures different from us.

Where do you feel art is going? 

I think soon everyone will ‘think’ they are an artist and there will be ‘art’ in everyone’s home.  But Art will never die and there will always be very meaningful important Art.

How do you feel when you are letting your emotions loose on the canvas?

Like I’m meditating.  No need for anything.  The chattering in my head stops and I’m at peace all on my own.


who are some of the artist you’ve been influenced by or inspired by?


Hieronymus Bosch
Van Gogh
Ai WeiWei
Egon Schiele
Lcd Soundsystem
Arcade Fire
Francis Bacon
Da Vinci
Alexander McQueen
Jeff Buckley
David Shrigley
El Grecco
Michael Jackson
Led Zeppelin
Eddie Vedder
Norman Rockwell
Malcolm Liepke
Ralph Steadman
Russell Brand
Frida Kahlo

where can your art be bought?

Just email me or contact me on social media.  I’m on all of the art social media platforms though and my art will soon be able to be rented through a new platform called Why Not Art.

Instagram @katiebuckett

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