Tessa Krieg is an artist, curator and researcher. After graduating from the Pratt Institute in 2020, she now works in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Her practice explores painting, writing, animation, drawing, photography, printing and performance arts. Her passion is taking a visceral hold on culture.
Do you listen to music while you paint? What do you listen to? My art practice these days involves subjecting my ears to TikToks. From popular entrepreneurial musicians to kids putting iPhones in blenders, I listen closely in the hope of hearing the doxa. Adolescents body rolling to catchy songs with lines about sexual abuse while wearing clothes that leave little to the imagination inspired the creation of the nascent TikTok temptress in my performance video “The Semiotics of the Barely Legal Spectacle.” Instead of being forced to cook and clean the young-girl is expected to smile, shimmy and seduce.When I’m not rotting my brain in the name of art and science I am listening to R&B and Alt. music like Roxan Ray or Kurt Vile. ‘LINK to performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcqh3UVS0xM&feature=emb_title
Can you give us a walk through of your creative process and how this differs through various practices of art. My creative process comes in the form of a hungry predator, eating away at me, a camouflaged creature. I feel the need to hunt down an illusive snake, abruptly biting me, infecting me with the desire to create. The camo creatures I search for come in the forms of color, shape, and the connection of ideas, observations and experiences, forming new ideas. Manifestations of my process come as fast as they go, compelling me to play with, rather than submit to the creatures. I comb through social media and other virtual public content, alter and manipulate the data that I find essential to expressing how I feel. Sometimes enough research can induce the same high as the bite of the sly snake. My inspiration comes from my visceral reaction to events around me. It could be anything: paintings, stories or questions within myself and the world, phenomena that I find funny and interesting but also disturbing – all these induce my art practice. A US military serviceman geolocating themselves for a chance at love and fame, women unknowingly enforcing misogynistic mores, people who identify with derogatory terms because “it is empowering,” and adolescents “just having fun.”
What stories or messages do you wish to tell through your creations? My message to the viewer is to confront our everyday beliefs and habits. By holding a mirror in front of life’s ridiculousness, I perform the zeitgeist’s mating call. The original performance is appropriated with a skewed perspective and goal, encouraging the viewer towards seeing the absurdity of it all.
How has your work evolved over time? My art has often been called perverse, though with malicious intent, meant to judge my sex, art and motivations. But these individuals and institutions referring to my ideas as unorthodox were on to something! The perv accusation made me realize that my art was prompting raw and visceral reactions –– who could ask for any higher praise? Though I grew tired of watching old white cis non-allies refuse to address my art outright or attempt to perform unsolicited pseudo-pyscho analysis on me, these experiences showed me that my own creations and ideas were powerful and that I have to trust my instincts; I should continue producing my art without inhibition.
Do you have any particular goals for the future, what’s next? My goals today are to find new simplified ways of discussing the conflicts I see. I will continue crafting archetypes roused by the all-consuming hegemonic ethos. My performances will be physical and mental, representing the ebbs and flows of the identification of self, that gives rise to the discovery of how I navigate through the world. I have just graduated from Pratt Institute and moved into a studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where I will be able to work on larger pieces–– and have studio visits!
FRONTRUNNER online forum: @Tessa.Krieg