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Mayme Kratz

Mayme Kratz /
Stand Still

Space | Poetry | Metaphor

Now in production, a documentary film on the artist Mayme Kratz who is represented in Scottsdale by Lisa Sette Gallery (www.lisasettegallery.com).

Pink Seed Column - Mayme KratzWhen we look, for a moment, around the edges of our human travails, we find other forms of life laboring to survive. Insects traverse vast distances and undergo extreme physical changes to become their ultimate selves, roots twist up from the ground in a singular attempt to expand into plants or trees. The artist Mayme Kratz is particularly attuned to these other struggles, and her cast resin pieces speak of the wildness of existence as a whole: the asymmetrical grammar of a fallen tree-limb, the dry language of the cicada, leaving its skin, and at the same time its skeleton, behind.

A collector of biological odds and ends, Kratz winnows metaphorical value from the discards of the natural world. The artist finds her specimens, often parts of dead creatures or fallen flora, while rambling in the high deserts of the Southwest, a place in which life defines itself against the heat. She encases these items in sculptures and wall pieces of rich, deep resin, creating startlingly beautiful reliquaries.

Kratz possesses a biological sixth sense, an understanding of how material she finds can become a line of poetry in the hardscrabble narrative of survival. In her works, bones, broken quail eggs and seedpods, buried in layers of translucent resin and thus transformed into a metaphysical realm, finally surrender their inherently mysterious and magical quality. Kratz sometimes feels that subjects of her artwork discover her rather than the other way around. “Sitting on the desert floor, digging the toenails out of a dead bobcat,” she explains, “You think, ‘there must be a good reason for me to be doing this!’”

- Megan Bates

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