Introducing Kim Leutwyler...

Kim Leutwyler is an American-born artist who ex-patriated to Sydney, Australia in 2012. She works in a variety of media including painting, installation, ceramics, printmedia and drawing. Kim holds concurrent bachelor degrees in Studio and Art History from Arizona State University, and additionally graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Painting and Drawing degree.

Kim’s current work takes its form in paintings dealing with images of beauty, gender and Queer-identity. She has come to focus on painting as a medium because of its primarily masculine history in the western art canon. By entering into the modernist painting field Kim hopes to destabilize gender borders just as LGBTQ artists have been doing since the 70’s and earlier. Her artwork has been exhibited in multiple galleries throughout the United States and Australia, and she is part of a permanent collection at both the Naestved Cultural Center in Denmark, and the Brooklyn Art Library in New York. Her painting 'Start the Riot' is currently on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of the 2015 Archibald Prize Finalist Exhibition.

We caught up with Kim to ask her a few questions.

H: What did you do before becoming an artist?
KL: Before I was an artist I was a student, and I absolutely LOVED accounting! I was also co-captain of the cheerleading squad, a theatre kid and ceramics hobbyist! 

H: Where does your interest in art come from?
KL: My immediate family is very artistic, so I blame them for my interest in art! Mom is a painter, Dad does ceramic sculpture and little sis does sculpture, painting, animation, printmaking, movie props and monster makeup. You can check out their amazing work at (sister) and (mom)! 

H: LGBTQI-identified and queer-allied women and did these come together?
KL: The Queer Dinosaurs are a playful new permutation of my ongoing body of work. I create paintings of LGBTQ-identified and Queer-allied women, most recently focusing on my partner, dearest friends and those who have impacted my life in some way. My work explores the line between glorification, objectification and modification. I use patterns from each subject’s local and social environment as a subtle vernacular to portray the layers and complexities of identity. I've always had a deep love for the mysteries of dinosaurs, and basically decided to chuck a dinosaur head on a figure one day just for fun! It pushes modification to the maximum in a playful way that makes me happy. 

H: So what exciting project(s) are you working on right now?
KL: LOTS of painting! I’m so honored to have been selected as 1 of 80 artists exhibiting at The Other Art Fair in Sydney. The Fair is currently the UK’s largest artist led fair, and due to its on-going success, TOAF is launching in Sydney 10-13 September alongside the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair! I've sold a lot of work recently so painting for the fair is #1 on my to-do list. You can follow along with my works in progress via Instagram (@carlosbob)! 

H: What would be your dream commission?
KL: My dream commissions are truly just portraits of everyday people! There are so many interesting LGBTQI-identified and Queer-allied people in the world and it would be my pleasure to capture them in a portrait. I ask for artistic freedom when creating a commissioned piece, consulting with my subject throughout the process to ensure that the composition, palette and pattern resonate with them. I love this kind of collaboration because it broadens my subject matter and pushes me to try new things while still remaining true to my artistic integrity and vision.

H: If you could make a list of your favourite contemporary artists, who would you pick?

KL: My Art World Heroes and Influences: 
Robert Rauschenberg 
Jake and Dinos Chapman
Jenny Saville 
Kehinde Wiley 
Jeff Koons 
Margherita Manzelli 
Mark Gleason 
Geoff Farnsworth
James Powditch
Ben Quilty

H: If you were to tag yourself on HATCH, what 3 words would you use?
KL: Queer, Figurative, Feminist

H: You were born in the US and know living in Australia...where next?
KL: I'm actually hoping that I'll be able to stay in Australia for a a few more years, it all depends on wether I obtain a permanent visa! If our application is denied my wife and I have agreed on either San Fran, Barcelona or NYC. I'm fairly certain I could convince her on London but we shall see ;) 

H: What feels like love to you?
KL: Strolling through the Centennial Parklands with my partner and puppy, craft beer in hand on a sunny day. I particularly love walking through the flying fox reserve with thousands of giant bats hanging upside down in the trees alternately sleeping, grooming, and stretching.  Their fluffy red chests are so cute! Spending time in the great outdoors with people that I care about = love. 

H: How would your friends describe you?
KL: My friends would (and do) describe me as a loveable weirdo. I'm very boisterous and always saying something slightly inappropriate to get a laugh. I do things my own way and love to be an enabler for my friends when they want to do something outside of their comfort zone. 

H: Ok last one......tell us a secret?
KL: Sometimes I shave my legs, but most of the time I don't :) I wear dresses and skirts almost every day and no one can ever tell.

Kim's work will be featured on Hatch for a limited time only. We delighted and honored to have her as part of the family.


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