“cute and poisonous”


Paintings of installations, installations made from paintings, and a painted zebra rug? Yep, it’s safe to say that I’m totally in love with the work of Rhode Island based artist Kirstin Lamb. She has a library of painted “props” that she uses to create her own still life scenes… and a detailed glossary to go with it. Be still my organization-loving heart!  She has a literature degree from Brown, and a painting-focused MFA from RISD. She’s smart, thoughtful, and really into lists … so you know I’m going to love her! You can listen on the player right under that fabulous installation, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Alright first things first, Kirstin’s still life paintings. This work is inspired by her interest in Dutch Vanitas still life… but with a modern, weird, wonderful twist:


Love! Those were the paintings I wrote about years ago, and yes, I still love them. I think it’s the portraits and cake… and ok, all of that meat too! So from 2D paintings that looked like 3D installations to 3D installations made from 2D paintings:


I cannot get over how much I love this body of work. Paintings as props? So good. I told Kirstin that I really want to curate a show of her work… mainly so that I could pick from her vast library of painted “props” and then sit on the floor amongst them. That would be my happy place. Sigh. Alright, moving on. The evolution continues:


Back to paintings on the wall, but now she’s painting the installations! Hello full circle! She’s creating her own still life set ups by first painting individual paintings, gathering props, setting it all up and then painting the scene. Beautiful, brilliant. So where does all of this magic happen? Take a look:


Wow. I think sitting on her studio floor might be my other happy place. So. Much. Stuff! Thank you so much to Kirstin for talking to me {and inspiring me to index the meaning of everything in my studio}, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and great big thanks to you for listening… there will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Bunker Projects, Residency
  2. Wassaic Artist Residency
  3. Portia Munson’s Pink Project
  4. “The Art of Teaching Art”
  5. Photography of Kirstin’s work {not studio} by Karen Philippi Photography


comments (12)

  1. Orka /// 06.11.2016 /// 4:54am

    Love compositions in these due to the beatiful aparent mess ! There is so much information and so many stories. Yayy ! <3

  2. Kirstin /// 06.11.2016 /// 9:34am

    Danielle thank you so much. It was an absolute pleasure to speak with you! You are remarkable!!!

  3. the jealous curator /// 06.11.2016 /// 1:57pm

    right back at you! xo

  4. Gay /// 06.11.2016 /// 9:29pm

    Hi Danielle. I have listened to every single one of your podcasts and sometimes want to give feedback but always feel a bit shy and don’t usually comment on blogs. Today however I have to make an exception and say that your interview with Kirstin was very inspiring. I love her work and how she is able to articulate where her ideas are derived from. As a former teacher myself I was particularly taken with how dedicated she sounds. I would love to be a student in her class!
    Anyway….thanks so much for providing such a wonderful forum to hear about what fellow artists are about. Looking forward to listening to you next 50 plus podcasts.

  5. the jealous curator /// 06.12.2016 /// 8:14am

    oh, thanks so much for commenting gay! yes, i would love to be in her class too! loved that she learned about portraiture so she could teach her students 🙂

  6. Aaron Cunningham /// 06.12.2016 /// 10:32am

    hey Danielle, really great curation. I have a friend in Toronto who does similar work. I’m going to forward this to her for inspiration. <3

  7. Michael Joyal /// 06.12.2016 /// 11:13am

    only recently, due to ARYE, have I begun to really think about why I paint the scenes I choose. Thank you Danielle for all the behind the scenes into my fellow artists’ lives. Always inspiring.

  8. Michael Joyal /// 06.12.2016 /// 11:14am

    That should be AFYE, not ARYE. Art For Your Ear.

  9. Julie /// 06.13.2016 /// 12:16am

    So many good things to say…
    Congrats on making the jump to full time JC and love your work too!!
    This was such an interesting interview… I love the honesty that comes from all the artists you talk to!! I could sit listening for hours to hear the stories behind the work x

  10. marc cardwell /// 06.16.2016 /// 6:02am

    high point of the interview:

    kirstin: “…vanitias basically means “be aware of your own decay… because one day you too will die.””

    danielle: “la la laaaaahh.”

  11. the jealous curator /// 06.16.2016 /// 9:54am

    haha! 😉

  12. eldam /// 07.07.2016 /// 8:24am

    make me think a lot about Martha Rich’s work. Cool.