Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tape Art Women

From across the Grove Street Path Station Plaza at this week’s Art Market I noticed the bold, dark images made from thick, black strokes. I thought they were pen & ink sketches made with deeply emotional, fat lines. I was wrong. Kayt Hester makes tape art. She uses black masking tape, the kind preferred by photographers in their dark rooms, to form her images. Tape Art? Tape Painting? What is the appropriate label for this new medium. As Kayt explains it, she worked as a fashion photographer but lost her studio after 9-11. She had the impulse to make art, a lot of unused rolls of black masking tape, and a need to make some money. Mainly images of women were on display, from the iconic, such as the Immaculate Heart Mary or the young Scout, from the film, To Kill A Mocking Bird, to less innocent females, some nude, some poses are sensual, others just women being themselves, attractive and strong. Confident. Some images were based on her Fashion photography, said Kayt. You have to look twice to realize they are made with tape. Maybe more than twice. I had to be told. Remarkable, these invocative images were the result of meticulously sliced and placed pieces of tape. There were some large canvases as well as small objects d’art, like blocks, or “canvases” on tiny easels. There are gels and other treatments involved so the art is permanent—the tape doesn’t peel off. How long does it take her make them? “Eight, nine, hours at least,” she laughed. “Each one takes about a day.”



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