Working directly on canvases of raw hessian fabric, Katja Seib produces paintings that riff on photographs taken with her phone. Her quiet interiors and mundane domestic scenes offer a look into the human psyche through layered and surreal storytelling. Through subtle interplays of texture and image, deft brushwork, and meticulous attention to detail, Seib creates works that are at once familiar and strange. Her compositions feature bizarre scenarios, dreamlike visuals, allegorical symbols, and figures holding enigmatic gazes. She draws on the constant and ongoing stream of images that form in her mind—and on her phone—making each painting function as an entry in an intimate visual diary.
These small paintings are portraits of characters, which the artist sometimes calls protagonists, whom she has encountered in Los Angeles.
In Made in L.A. 2020: a version, the artist's work is present in two institutions, across Los Angeles. See Katja Seib's work on view at the Hammer.
Katja Seib was born in 1989 in Düsseldorf, Germany. She studied painting at Düsseldorf Kunstakademie, graduating with an MFA in 2016. Painting directly on canvases of raw hessian fabric, she riffs on photographs from her phone, balancing the traditional medium with technology-mediated imagery. Seib is fascinated by surface pattern and texture, as well as by the histories of her medium, and through a combination of a subtle interplay of texture and image, deft brushwork, and a meticulous attention to detail, she creates works that are at once familiar and strange. Working figuratively, she often includes herself or her friends within her depictions of the everyday, grounding the paintings almost uncannily in reality. Surreal motifs and darkness variously act as catalysts for fiction: bizarre scenarios, dreamlike visuals, allegorical symbols, and enigmatic gazes populate her canvases. Seib draws on the constant and ongoing stream of images that form in her mind—and on her phone, which make the individual paintings function like entries in an intimate visual diary. Her work has been exhibited at Château Shatto, Los Angeles (2019), and Sadie Coles HQ, London (2018).