Through a contemporary approach to portraiture, I explore the rich terrain of individual identity and what is revealed in the intimate moments of seeing and being seen. Working in the alla prima tradition, I paint from life, seeking to capture a sense of immediacy, freshness, and depth in my portraits. From the privileged position of witnessing the other, I seek to convey the unique presence of each subject as well as our shared humanity. My current body of work has been inspired by recent political events. Following the Women’s March, I awoke with a vision of graffiti scrawled over a portrait.The vision translated into a body of reworked portraits featuring slogans from recent political events, quotations, and my own words. The act of writing over the portraits has felt empowering and liberating. The portraits move from the singular to the universal, merging image with voice. The work is ultimately about freedom of expression and the importance of speaking on behalf of those who cannot speak or are at risk of being silenced.
Born outside of Philadelphia, Kate Longmaid has always been drawn to art and understanding what it means to be human. She obtained a B.A. in “Psychology and Art: Theory and Practice” from the University of Michigan. Longmaid specializes in contemporary portraiture. She was featured in the “Women to Watch 2010: Contemporary Figurative Painting” exhibition curated by the Vermont Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA).
She was one of eight artists selected for the Women to Watch 2010 exhibition “Body of Work: New Perspectives on Figure Painting” at NMWA in Washington, D.C. The biennial series showcases emerging and underrepresented women artists in the United States and abroad. Longmaid’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums on the East Coast and in Canada and is held in private
collections throughout the U.S.