Kirsten Stoltmann : I am Sorry

Kirsten Stoltmann
I am Sorry
May 3 – July 31, 2019


Kirsten Stoltmann is an artist living in Ojai, California who makes work about being uncomfortable and just trying to fit in, or not. Her work has been influenced by her Midwestern roots, self-deprecating and humorous nature, and Feminism.
Kirsten Stoltmann’s installation in gallery 1 includes the opportunity for mess…so “don’t worry about making a mess”. Stoltmann invites us to wallow on the floor with our emotions, wine, and whatever else you feel. It’s all a mess, living is a mess, and we are all messy.
The exhibition continues in gallery 2, with revised and reworked pieces originating from 2006. This series. aptly titled “Mariah Carey, Then and Now”, includes large, text based collage works. Stoltmann has altered initial interactions within each work as if to re-word or openly reassess the original inclination of each piece. She expands on her own conversation as if external time is of no consideration.


“I try to shed light on aspects of the human condition in a positive, clear and humorous manner.  I am not ashamed to tell you that my work stems from my aversion and attraction to constructed realities: TV, movies, liquor, rock star crushes and pop/punk music.  I express the difficulty of living with, and also trying to understand what we want.  Recently my work has illustrated my desperate desire to participate, while still trying to remain critical no matter how wrong, out of style or embarrassing these trends can be.

My work always expresses an inner turmoil and uncomfortableness of being human with human emotions and the simple joy of being overwhelmed by cliched images and emotions that seep in unexpectedly. I am very aware and purposeful about my intentions.  I am not too naive to know exactly what is going on, but my intent is a means in order to question the integrity of the work, which in a sense becomes the work’s content.

I have no pretenses other than exposing whatever is happening or what I wish was happening in my life. I decipher these emotions with a structure, image or idea known to the general population, which opens up the personal. By using everyday objects, familiar (or even cliched) images, and simple human stories I am able to generalize my autobiography, and to make work that is intensely personal and specifically directed while remaining open to the uncertainties and emotions of my viewers.  I struggle to illustrate the realness of the emotions I chose to portray no matter how cliché or stereotypical they may seem.  Within that struggle I make a desperate attempt to show the world that I have sincere feelings lots and lots of feelings, and feeling feelings is hard. Let me decipher and feel the hard feelings and you enjoy yourself.”


Kirsten Stoltmann was born and raised in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000. Solo exhibitions include Lump Gallery, Raleigh, Brennan & Griffin Gallery, New York, Suburban Gallery, Oak Park., Sister Gallery and Cottage Home, Los Angeles, Wallspace Gallery, New York, Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee and Donald Young Gallery, Chicago. Other group exhibitions include, Abstract America, New Painting & Sculpture, Saatchi Gallery, London, a two-person collaboration with Amanda Ross-Ho at Guild and Greyshkul Gallery, New York, Christian Nagel Gallery, Berlin, Overduin and Kite, Los Angeles, New York Underground Film Festival, New York. Stoltmann lives  and works in Ojai, California.