“Migropolis” Maps Sarah Kinne’s Artistic Journey

“I’ve moved ten times in six years in search of cheaper rent,” said the talented artist whose solo painting show is at the Milky Way and JP Licks this month.

 “I complete a painting a day,” said Sarah Kinne when we recently met at , where her exhibition of paintings called “Migropolis” will be on view before moving on to .

“Migropolis,” a word that she coined, “is a world of moving cities,” says Kinne’s artist’s statement for the show.  “It consists of habitats along the routes that we share with migrant birds and other creatures. These images are of environments that have been occupied in cycles, and serve as homes to more subtle visitors.”

Many of the works in “Migropolis” concern Kinne’s fascination with architectural structures.  

“There is something in the buildings that I feel connected with. Someone once told me," she said, “that a calligraphy artist must become the tree before drawing it."

Kinne’s “Migropolis” paintings are executed in a mix of media including acrylic, oil and watercolor.  They also display a range of techniques such as her painterly and impressionistic views of “Dudley Square” and a watery vista of the “Baker Chocolate Factory” following a flooding rainstorm. Works like “Empty House” and “Roadside Station” are more surreal and influenced by dreams. With “Caminos Migratorios,” Kinne paints with the spontaneity of the Abstract Expressionists or Chinese calligraphy.

“I have only a moment to get the image down,” she stated. “The light is different every time.”

Kinne has a special affinity for a house in JP’s Back of the Hill section.  The unique structure, which she calls the “Stair House,” clings to a steep hillside on Fisher Avenue, and has served as the material for an ongoing series of paintings. It is interesting to compare the actual building, which the artist and I visited together, and Kinne’s visual interpretations.

Kinne used to jog past the house every day when she was a student at MassArt. Now, her own life has come to resemble her art. 

“I’ve moved ten times in six years in search of cheaper rent,” she said.  “We should be living in a yurt,” added the itinerant artist.

In Kinne’s other work, she explores a range of subject matters and media.  Her diverse yet consistent oeuvre includes dream studies, the human figure, maps, interiors, and still lives.  The artist, who participated in a group showing at the Cheverus Building during last month’s , also works in collage, illustration and as a muralist.  One of her murals, called “Fish Tank” is here in JP at the corner of Centre and Ballard Streets.

Though Kinne is not terribly fond of art history and its categorization of artists and styles, she described herself as an expressionist and disclosed that one her favorite artists is the little known Spanish-Mexican surrealist Remedios Varo Uranga.

Kinne is compelled to record not only the things that she sees but also her emotional response to her subjects.  

I don’t rely strictly on observation,” said the prolific painter, who is unquestioning in her passion for art. 

“In our culture people don’t have the same appreciation for a painting as they do for a nice car.  I have a studio and the time to make art,” she declared.  “I see art sustaining me.”

Grahame Turner October 22, 2011 at 05:09 PM
That stair house is awesome. I used to live a street over from it, always got a kick out of it.


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