KellyAnne Hanrahan, Artist, was first featured on The Nice Niche in January 2013...
Before we get into what you've been working on since your feature on The Nice Niche, can you tell me about Garbage Painting #56? Is there a narrative behind "ants"?
This is one of my favorites… At this point in the "Garbage Paintings" series I was following the trail of evolution and depicting each species that appeared on earth, in order. This was the ants painting. I had painted the beetle just before this one, but obviously wasn't quite through painting beetles. I really enjoy painting insects.
You've segued from Garbage to Animals, or more specifically, Animals with People... DO tell....
Heh heh. People are animals. While I was painting garbage, I became more interested in the animals I was painting with the garbage than the trash itself. Instead of imagining static landscapes left behind by humans, I became more interested in exploring the relationship humans currently have with non-human animals.
It's fascinating to me how the relationship we have with our fellow animals has evolved. Our healthy fear of snakes has been captured, defanged and turned into a tourist photo opportunity.
I get most of my material from the internet, and am often taken aback by the photos I come across. I'll bet there was a time when you could feel pretty special for "wrestling" an alligator and getting a picture of it. Now, just search for "alligator wrestling" online and you'll come up with thousands of pictures of people doing the exact same thing at a place called "Gatorland". It has changed my approach to painting human portraits from rich and colorful to desaturated and zombie-like. And I often laugh at my own child-like depiction of non-human animals, revealing how much I romanticize the beasts.