In the Studio: Ky Anderson

In the Studio, presented by 20x200 and Jen Bekman Projects, is a series of interviews spotlighting some of our crazy-talented 20x200 artists. Each Q+A takes us inside an artist’s work space and gives a behind-the-scenes look at their artistic process, peculiarities, and preferences. View the entire series and get to know your favorite artists here.

If you were to step into the 20x200 office on this very day, you’d find artwork by Ky Anderson hanging on the wall. Her paintings are colorful yet calm and represent an ongoing personal narrative that piques our collective curiosity. We’ve taken the opportunity to chat with Ky about what makes her tick, and how she approaches her life’s work in her Greenpoint, Brooklyn studio. Enjoy.

Studio Speak

Where’s your studio?
In a studio building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

What’s your favorite “tool” in the studio?
My bondo scraper and printmaking roller.

What do you wear when working in the studio?
Clothes that are covered in paint.

Anderson proves that great art looks great no matter where it goes — on the wall or on the floor!

What’s on your in-studio playlist?
Glenn Gould, Kate Bush, Mock & Toof, Destroyer, William Onyeabor, Fleetwood Mac, Janelle Monae, Hospitality, and Neil Young — a wide variety. I recently started listening to Serial [ed. note — not the first time we’ve heard that!], but I could not get any painting done while it was on; it’s too good for busy work.

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive in the studio?
For the past year or so I first put on an hour-long piano piece by Glenn Gould. As I listen to that I look through what I painted from the day before, I pick out what I think is good, and pin it to the wall to think about it. I usually start painting on small works on paper first, I use them like a sketch book. Then as the day goes on I move onto larger works.

A peek on Anderson’s shelf — her collection of art books not pictured, but very present.

What’s your favorite way to sweat it out?

What’s your favorite way to procrastinate in the studio?
Cookies from the bakery down the street from my studio.

Which artists’ 20x200 collections do you most covet?
Mike Sinclair, Negar Ahkami, Taca Zhijie Sui, Jeff Lewis

Whens, Hows & Whys

When did you first realize you wanted to become an artist?
My parents are both artists, as a child I painted while they worked on their artwork. So there was really never a moment when I thoughtI’m going to be an artist — I just continued to paint.

How’d you get there?
I studied Fiber and Sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute. I remember thinking, I already know how to paint, so I’ll study other things to learn as much as I can. I know now I should have taken some painting classes, but what I learned in the Fiber and Sculpture departments really informs what I do now.

How do you get over creative blocks?
Avoidance, annoyance, and frustration, then beer.

What do you like best about 20x200?
One of the best things about 20x200 is the quality of the prints. They are perfect. Also, of course, the nice folks who run it and the amazing selection of artists.

Anderson’s work space

The 411 on Ky Anderson

Ky Anderson was born in Kansas City, MO, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has had solo exhibitions in New York, Kansas City and London, along with numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. Several of Ky’s pieces have been released and are available as 20x200 editions!

Professional Site: Ky Anderson
Blog: Ky Anderson
Tumblr: Ky Anderson’s Art Collection
Instagram: @_ky_anderson_

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