Kristen Martincic grew up swimming in the Great Lakes and public pools around her childhood home in Cleveland. Her artwork explores the connection between the body and water. She works with traditional
print media and Japanese papers as well as a hybrid of printmaking, drawing, painting and sculpture.
Martincic’s artwork has been widely shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the US as well as in Canada, France and Egypt. Her work is included in several public collections and she has been a resident artist at Jentel, Brush Creek Foundation, Prairie Center of the Arts, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, and KHN Center for the Arts. She holds a BFA from Bowling Green State University and an MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently lives and works in Columbia, Missouri.
I am interested in water as a space, as a color, as a feeling, as a container. I use swimming pools and objects associated with water to mediate on water’s translucency and the act of swimming. I am drawn to how the color of water shifts depending upon its depth, on the angle of the light, the time of day, and the water’s structural surroundings. I love the contrast between the clear light blues of the shallows and the dark, slightly opaque blues of the deep end. I isolate and reduce this environment to its most fundamental elements.
In her series, Bathing Suits, Kristen prints thin layers of oil-based ink onto handmade Japanese paper and then sews each piece to create impractical paper swimsuits. Referencing swimwear from the early 20th century, when modesty required the majority of the female figure to be covered up. They speak about presence and absence while blurring the line between a bathing suit and an underdress, skin, and clothing. She is fascinated by how swimsuits reflect shifting personal, cultural, or generational attitudes toward the body.