Kathie Olivas is an internationally exhibited multi-media artist from New Mexico. Through her current body of work, the Misery Children, she explores society’s insatiable desire to assign ‘cuteness’ and our discomfort with the unknown. A dark blend of early American portraiture set in post apocalyptic times, Kathie’s paintings and custom toys are a satirical look at how fear affects our sense of reality.
One of the central questions raised in Kathie’s work is that of ‘what if’: what if these ‘cute’ creatures had their own agenda? Are they attune to something beyond our understanding, or are we simply too cowardly to acknowledge it? Are their misshapen limbs and plated mouths a deformation from living in a desolate wasteland,or perhaps an adaptation for protection?
The Misery Children are meant to evoke a nostalgic reaction that reflects isolation, fear and an uncertainty, yet they also act as empowered alter egos. While these characters explore their new lonely worlds, they double as our narrators. They guide us through their reality as they experience it and yet, even in their company, we are granted no reassurance.
Brandt Peters is a self-taught illustrator and designer whose work has garnered international attention from the fine art gallery circuit. His paintings explore the eras of ancient cartoons, Victorian toys and pre-WWI vintage ‘Pop’ ephemera; all fodder from being raised by a family of artists and antique collectors. A world composed of creepy sideshow icons, deviant Animalia, and “masked” glorified cartoon alter egos, these characters and cultures serve as the very antitheses of what is traditionally deemed innocent and socially acceptable.
Although misfits on the surface, a sense of relation is understood: secret from the public, we are all misfits — hiding behind animated personas, odd and beautifully unusual. Who is it that we relate to? The lonely little boy hiding in a bear suit; the evil, lustful pool-hall wolf; the sexualized little girl who secretly wants more. The environment and its limited population are meant to conjure these questions; the viewers must draw their own conclusions. Brandt lives and works in New Mexico with his wife and partner, Kathie Olivas and his two dogs, Bailey and Diego.