Kristi Cavataro

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What is my work about?

By producing multiples, I can infinitely duplicate objects in pursuit of exponentially evolving permutations. I use casting techniques as a means of producing modular forms. These pieces can then be composed and arranged in series’ of permutations investigating formal processes of abstraction. Each of these instances may be mathematically obvious; each piece can explain, perhaps, an empirical or physical truth about its own making. However, the studio is not an algorithm; and play, history, and experimentation contribute to these permutations, making each piece not an inevitability of practice, but instead, theorems of imagination.


Artist Statement

Through exercises of composition, color interaction, form, scale, weight, surface, material, line, I build a vocabulary, logic, and mathematics for looking and making, only to have these tools fold in on themselves, refer to themselves, and lead to seemingly nonsensical or illogical resolutions. Parts of speech get muddled. Colors might oscillate back and forth between being nouns, verbs and adjectives. Looking closer at the spaces between colors, or at the relationships of form and material might reveal patterns of abstraction; working backwards through the act of looking reveals new and surprising connections.

My pieces often exist as permutations of each other. Permutations need not be linear, they all exist in relation to one another, without needing to be one after the other. They can still be developed and rigorous, relating to one another in more unexpected, idiosyncratic, and imaginative ways. This quality is essential to both the production and the reading of my work. I am skeptical of linear thinking, and linear notions of progress. Moving linearly is a dangerous myth. To take aim at a point at the end of a straight line forward would be to exclude everything to my left and right, top and bottom, behind me, inside me, in my parallel universes, in my past and future lives. Chasing the many directions permutations may move in, outward from my reality, is a means of abstraction in pursuit of more imaginative ways of existing.

As such, instead of a linear practice, I want art that spins you around in circles so fast that in the dizziness, something new appears. You might stumble towards these visions, new images rearranged from old realities. Surprised at your own unbalance, and the strange sensations of this altered gravity, your movement and your desires are destabilized.

“Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (PEMDAS); she isn’t feeling well today, or ever. Something just isn’t right. I can’t tell if she is always getting better, but not ever quite well, or always getting worse, but not ever quite dead.”

Instead of sequential progressions, I want art that moves on a parabolic curve, rocking ever back and forth along its track; I want perpetual motion, I want momentum. No matter if it exponentially dwindles; the path at the center of the curve is well travelled, in fact, infinitely travelled nearest its apex, and infinitely more quickly rocking back and forth, gaining speed as it loses ground. This is a kind of focus.

I want art that moves exponentially along an asymptote, approaching the abyss, always with more momentum, with more density, but never stopping. Approaching nothing (zero) and everything (infinity). These endpoints are just abstract measures of magnitude anyway; they aren’t real, but we can come close enough to fool ourselves into thinking we have hit them, a crash landing at the end of a road of ever-repeating 9’s, or a hypothetical 1, always to be chased after, jumping through hoops of 0’s after the decimal, the 1 is always just out of reach, and further than the eye can see.

The jump to say you made it, you hit zero, you hit infinity, seems smaller and smaller as you move along, disoriented in the repetitious 0’s or 9’s. Once you leap, the gap expands beneath you, in mid air, 9’s and 0’s forever. Just when you’d thought there could be no more, you are falling, falling, falling through the ever-widening gap. This leap of faith (or delusion? or ignorance? or imagination?) is a means of being flung into another dimension. These motions, as strange as they are logical, as nonsensical as they are true, clear and paradoxical, are the only means of getting there.



BFA, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY

PEMDAS, 31 Third Avenue, The Cooper Union, New York

The Dog Show, 247 Centre Street, New York
Depersonalization: I am a Machine, They are Machines, With Robert Zehnder, Ox-Bow School of Art, Saugatuck, MI

The Last Brucennial, New York, NY

Drawing us Out: Drawing in the Woods (For Lebbeus), OMI International Arts Center, Ghent, NY

Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Award

Residencies and Fellowships
LeRoy Neiman Fellowship, Ox-Bow School of Art, Saugatuck, MI

Architecture OMI, OMI International Art Center, Ghent, NY