ACTIONS AND EMOTION THAT COME JUST BEFORE CATASTROPHE - ISSUE 5 ARTIST INTERVIEW - RAE KLEIN

COUNTRY: MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES

White Dog With Gems - Oil | Panel, 2019

Rae Klein is best known for her oil and egg tempera paintings. A principal theme in her work is tense, of situations. Through painting, she explores where the line is when events cross from in, to out of one’s control. Subtle emotions from the realization that one is becoming powerless translate into visual detail. She graduated in 2017 with a BFA in painting from eastern Michigan University. Currently, she continues to paint and live in Michigan. Her work resides in private collections across the United States and abroad.


Fill Up The Hollow - Oil | Panel, 2019

My paintings describe actions and emotion that come just before catastrophe. I am looking for the boundary where safety and fear lies. I paint control slipping through my subject’s fingers and pooling in offsetting signs around the image. I like them looming there, a series of dots my subject is trying to connect. Sometimes, my subject isn’t in the painting. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s you, the viewer.


Oil and egg tempera are my medium of choice. I love the gummy, film-like quality of tempera, and the buildup of transparency that oil can achieve. Both materials contribute their history to the timeless emotion I am looking for. Using these materials in the way that I paint are time consuming, but the slowness provides me enough time to look around the scene and notice what my subject might have missed during their attempt to keep everything under control.


Passenger - Oil | Panel, 2019


In your bio., you state that you explore actions and emotions just before catastrophe. What

prompted this idea to paint this type of subject matter in your paintings?

I kind of narrowed it down. At first, I wasn’t sure what my paintings were about. The paintings I

ended up liking the most as I went along were a little tense, but I wasn’t sure what made them

that way. I was painting a lot of people and cars at that time, like old Lincoln Continentals, and

to me the cars were a sort of symbol for being in control of something, and at the same time you