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Kristin Kwan

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Kristin Kwan is an artist who makes illustrative paintings and drawings, living with her family and crowd of pets in Lincoln, NE. Her artwork uses elements of fantasy and allegory to explore themes of life, death, and rebirth.

“When I was growing up my family moved many times, and every new home held mysteries and secrets. I dreamed of hidden stairways that led to unknown attics, or cellars underneath that held forgotten treasures. I knew I could get there if I just kept looking. That low door is still elusive, but when I pick up my pencil or paint brush I can find it for a little while. When I paint I try to bring some of that magic country back with me.” – Kristin Kwan

Kristin Kwan Interview

Big Wall Decor Ad Girl next to large pop artwork

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A paleontologist.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Keep starting, that is the trick to productivity and progress. Don’t worry about anything else, just start, and start again, and start again, all day.

Who is the one person, dead or alive, that you would like to have dinner with and why?
Terence McKenna.

Where is your favorite place?
There’s this place that lives in my memory, from when I was a child, it was down the dirt road we lived on, in someone’s back 40, you went through a swampy place full of nettles, through blackberry brambles maybe 10 feet tall, and there was an old apple orchard, it felt enclosed from the world and timeless.

Who are your biggest influences?
Robert Bateman, 20th-century surrealists, mid-century sci-fi and fantasy cover artists

Big Wall Decor Ad Girl next to large pop artwork

What can’t you live without?
Free time

What is your dream project?
Oh, it’s always the next thing, the next painting is always the dream project.

What’s your favorite artwork?
The Virgin of the Rocks, by DaVinci (the Louvre version), also the Rolin Madonna by Van Eyck

What is currently on your playlist?
Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens, a lot of Joni Mitchell, endless Alan Watts youtube lectures

What are your last three Google searches?
I’ll never tell.

What gives you life?
Going for a run that hurts

What is your superpower?
Total obsession

What is your Kryptonite?
4:00 in the afternoon

If you could visit any artist’s studio, whose would you visit and why?
I would love to visit an old renaissance-type art studio, the workshop kind, and see the apprentices at work and the slow process of it all. What I really want to see is the Ghent Altarpiece in progress in the workshop, I’d stop in there.

What was the last thing you bought?
A book

What ideas are you currently pondering or questioning?
How to achieve some kind of work/life balance, how to let go of the endless desire for control

What do most people believe that you do not?
In free will

What is one thing you believe that most people do not?
Breakfast is totally unnecessary

What imaginary place would you love to visit?
Finn and Jake’s treehouse, the waterlily sea at the end of the ocean in Narnia, Green Gables

What is your favorite thing in the world, and why?
My family

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be, and why?
A musician for album art, but I don’t listen to enough music to know who

What’s next for you?
Leaping into that void of tomorrow, also a few group shows this year


August 13, 2022 – August 28, 2022

Gallery Nucleus welcomes Kristin Kwan with her first solo exhibition at the gallery, featuring a collection of brand new personal artwork.

Opening Reception / Aug 13, 5:00PM – 8:00PM

Gallery Nucleus
210 East Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801


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