Thursday, December 21, 2006

Art Space Talk: Kritzia Caban

I recently interviewed artist Kritzia Caban. Kritzia is intrigued by the grotesque and odd. Her work is a grab-bag of shocking and sarcastic themes. Kritzia has stated that her goal is to "achieve a reaction" from her viewers. She does not care if this reaction is negative or positive as long as the viewer takes a second glance. I have taken several! I can't wait to observe where she will go next with her art.

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "Since it was the only thing I really could do living in a pretty crappy urban neighborhood. I was quite the sheltered little Spaniard. My parents wanted so badly for me to be safe so they shoved a bunch of coloring books, crayons and food at me to keep me home and happy. I would pour my heart out into my sketchbooks and ever since I could remember."

Q. How has society influenced your art? Are there any social implications in your art?

A. "Society influences my art almost as much as my life experiences (which is a lot) I think I’m overly affected by what is going on in my immediate surroundings as well as in the media. I’m obsessed with the way people react and relate to the world around them. My obsession with people and their actions may have stemmed from being a bit sheltered when I was younger and not quite knowing how I "should" act or react to anything. I have a lot to say about the way people are portrayed in the media, the distance the internet and the computer has helped to foster, disconnected families, hunger, animal abuse, poverty and more. My goal is to present those issues that are important to me by showing them in my own personal context."

Q. On average, how long does it take you create one painting?

A. "It really depends on my mood and what’s going on in my life. Lately I’ve been finishing one painting every 3-4 weeks."

Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

A. "Well I always have my sketchbook by my side. Whenever I get an idea in my head I grab my sketchbook and write down my thoughts or illustrate them. When I paint I make reference to my original ideas so that I can see how far I’ve deviated form the original. Music helps sometimes. My best motivations are my ideas."

Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who collect your art, what would they be?

A. "Wow, I wish I could say anyone has collected my art. I’ve just recently had the time to take my art more seriously so I haven’t really sold anything just yet. I would assume that they would need to have a really good sense of humor or be pretty twisted. I don’t make my art for any particular audience so I’m not sure who would even want it."

Q. Discuss one of your pieces.What were you thinking when you created it?

A. "Let’s talk about my piece with the puke and Barbies (image above). I’ll say now that every piece that I do is related to how I feel in some way. I’m not very good with words so this piece has allowed me to say a lot without saying anything. I feel pretty strongly about body image and beauty. With this piece I constantly asked myself the question "What is beauty?" I’ve always had a warped sense of what is beautiful and I really wanted to have my confusion be vented out onto the canvas. I guess you could say I was sort of releasing pent up frustrations about ideal beauty with art and the body by "puking" onto the canvas."

Q. Do you have a degree or do you plan to attend school for art? If so, how did it help you as an artist?

A. "I’m getting ready to student teach right now. I will be finishing up school in the spring of 2007 with a degree in art education. I ideally would have liked to seek a degree in just fine arts but being that I need money, teaching was my best option. My parents wouldn’t have been too supportive of me just being an artist. I’m happy that I’ve taken this path but unsure of where to go now. I’d love to be a teacher and work on my skills while trying to teach but I can’t say that I’m not afraid that becoming a teacher will put a damper on my main goal of pursuing my art more seriously."

Q. What can you tell us about the art department that you attended?

A. "It isn’t the greatest art department in the world but it definitely has its gems. There are two teachers in particular, Sean Gallagher and Jenny Knaus, that really helped me to focus and work on my techniques before rushing into the many ideas I have. There was no real art community at my school. I wish there was more opportunity to share with other artists and collaborate but I might have been expecting too much."

Q. Why did you choose the medium(s) that you use?

A. "Well I had lost all hope in my ability to draw after a terrible experience with a teacher who told me I should reconsider what I’m doing in art. After going through a whole semester of wallowing in self pity I decided to get my required painting class out of the way. My teacher Jenny Knaus was the most inspiring and motivational woman I have ever met. She helped me see what my strengths were but didn’t allow me to let my weaknesses escape unnoticed. She sort of nurtured me back to health with oil paint. Ever since then I stuck to oils until I accidentally ingested Turpenoid. I’ve been using acrylics for the most part since that incident."

Q.Where can we see more of your art?

A. "Aside from my Myspace you can check out my website, which is currently under construction or vote for me on"

Q. Are you represented by a gallery? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

A. "I just recently showed some of my work at the senior art educators’ exhibition at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain . I’ve really just started considering showing in galleries so I’m up for anything. There is a possibility that I will be showing at East West in NY for the winter of ’07."

Q. Any tips for emerging artists?

A. "Make art for yourself and no one else. Love and accept your mistakes or they’ll come to haunt you in your work. No one’s perfect. Stop trying to be."

Q. Has your work ever been censored? If so, how did you deal with it?

A. "Not yet but I’m sure there are plenty of people who would prefer not to see my work at all."

Q. What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?

A. "Right now is probably the best but toughest part of my career as an artist. I’m torn between pursuing my education and wanting to take my art seriously. I’m also seriously torn between being the starving artist and working a boring old job with a full stomach with no time to make art. Until this year I’ve been shunned for the way I do my art and I’m just starting to learn how to have faith in what I’m trying to do."

Q. In one sentence... why do you create art?

A. "Art is my therapy and without it I would get sick and die."

Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?

A. "Well I’m from CT. It’s pretty boring down here. The best shows I’ve attended have been at the gallery at my college. The good thing is that NY is not too far off and whenever I have free time all I have to do is hop on the train to find some interesting art."

Q. Has politics ever entered your art?

A. "Not yet. I am so self absorbed that I haven’t had the time to stop

thinking about what’s going on in my head to take the time to think about what’s going on in a bunch of politicians’ heads."

Q. Does religion, faith, or the lack thereof play a part in your art?

A. "My confusion about faith and my lack thereof is always an issue in my own head and I believe that all my work says something about how I feel just not so directly. If I could explain it I would but for now there are my paintings."

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say about your art or the 'art world'?

A. "Thanks so much to all the people who have recently shown an interest in my work. I’ve really just put myself out there as hard as I could without expecting so many people to accept and applaud what I’m trying to do."
I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Kritzia Caban. Feel free to critique or discuss her work.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin


d said...

I'm a big fan of Kritzia's. I stumbled upon her, "The Turpentine Incident" on myspace and thought, wow, you don't see that everyday. Pondering it left me with the conclusion that it represented all of the risks people decide to take when venturing down the path of life as an artist. In our society, artists have to sacrifice their health and welfare to do what they do.

After all that deep thought, I read her blog and discovered it reenacted an actual incident in her life, which makes the piece even more poignant, and literal.

Kritzia's words resonated with me, particularly when she spoke about the choice that every burgeoning artist must make between a comfortable life with a well paying job with health insurance, and a life where you have time to make art. I chose the former, and now find myself miserable when when I want to paint or draw or spraypaint walls, and I can't because I'm locked in my cubicle.

For future interviews, I would like to suggest that you include titles, dimensions, mediums, and dates for each of the pieces, and also that perhaps you ask more questions about the artist's techniques. And I'd love to see time-lapsed video of a piece coming together.

Balhatain said...


Thanks for your feedback. I'm currently working on vamping the blog up.

I will start listing titles and other information about the artwork that is displayed.

Unknown said...

Its your Bro CHU aka I am aka Imagikart. Love the work. Funny you do paintings and i do tats. Must be that Caban blood. That picture you have of Dad made me shed a tear. You have a fan. check my work out at