Disjointed and Mirrored Figures Break Into Indistinct Selves in Kat Kristof’s Portraits

Source Colossal  

“She & Her” (2023), oil on canvas, 150 x 150 centimeters. All images courtesy of BEERS London, shared with permission

“Where is the outline of one’s self beyond the physical body?” asks the artist Kat Kristof. “If I stand close to you, am I part of you? If we touch, our beings intersect, where do I start and do you begin? Do we share a single being between us?”

In Her & the Self opening next week at BEERS London, Kristof expounds on what it means to try to define something as mutable, fluid, and fragmented as the self. She paints in neutrals and muted jewel tones, rendering figures that are disjointed, mirrored, entwined, and glitched. In works like “She & Her,” for example, a secondary figure appears to peel itself off the body of the subject, a motif similar to that in “Portrait of Them IV.” Other pieces, like “Portrait of Her IV,” show a single woman looking directly toward the viewer, while another identical form slyly peeks out from her left side with a knowing expression.

A statement about the exhibition poses the theory that each portrait equally depicts the sitter and the artist, further ensnaring several identities and perceptions into each of Kristof’s works. While composed of geometric blocks of subtle color, her stylized figures defy clear delineation, their forms often melding into one another and blurring any boundary between the two. The subjects also retain their anonymity and distance from the viewer, further questioning the limits of what we’re able to glean about each other and ourselves.

Her & the Self runs from October 20 to November 25. Glimpse Kristof’s studio and process on Instagram.


“Portrait of Her I” (2023), oil on canvas, 135 x 145 centimeters

“Portrait of Her IV” (2023), oil on canvas, 100 x 100 centimeters

“Portrait of Them II” (2023), oil on canvas, 150 x 150 centimeters

“Portrait of Them IV” (2023), oil on canvas, 145 x 110 centimeters

“Her & Her” (2023), oil on canvas, 185 x 125 centimeters

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