Kim Carlino’s Art Presents Playful, Abstract Realities

Kim Carlino’s art can hardly be contained within the canvas. Bursting with activity, they present an abstract reality that is both geometric and chaotic in nature. Mining the space between painting and drawing, Carlino defines her work as based on eco-geometric abstraction exploring themes of place, poetics, and experience. In other words: it’s a rather messy experience.

Carlino’s intention with her art is rather straightforward: to create pieces that are engaging and playful. “I want to create work that is playful: work that enlivens public and private spaces,” she relayed in an interview with Jung Katz. “I want to make work that is an amalgam of all my life experiences and influences, yet uniquely my own vision.”

She also want her art to evoke feelings of happiness. “I want others to see my art and feel that art can engage and challenge your perceptions and senses but also make you feel good, excited and happy,” she went on to explain.

Born in 1977 and based in Easthampton, Massachusetts, Carlino received her BFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2011 and has since exhibited locally and nationally, including shows at the University Museum of Contemporary Art in Amherst and the 2019 Every Woman Biennial.

And while her work is rather abstract, it’s also a reflection of her natural surrounding. In a recent post, Carlino explained that she finds refuge in nature. “It’s where I go to think, to process, to look deeply and be enveloped in the present moment,” she explains. “So when it became clear that the pandemic was here to stay for quite a while and I wasn’t going to be able to go to my studio to make work, I doubled down on immersing myself in the landscape as a way to be with what was happening as well as the only place outside of my home I was actually allowed to go.”

According to Carlino, though this doesn’t translate in a representational way into her art, nature is infused in the themes in her work, dealing with relationships and connections. “Thinking about these themes through the act of painting is my way of making sense with the uncertainty of this time we are living in.”