An Interview with Kieran Riley Abbott
When did you start printing?
I started screen printing in my first year of high school using a Speedball kit and a how-to zine. My friend and I printed t-shirts in my garage for our friends, and that's where I fell in love with the printing process. As soon as I started undergrad at the University of Minnesota I immediately started taking printmaking classes and joined the print club (shoutout to Bohemian Press!). I found a tight-knit, hardworking and creative community in the printmaking dept. and have pursued these communities ever since.
Where do you make your work? Home studio? Shared print space?
I've bounced around a few spaces in the past year. For the first half of 2016 I was an intern-in-residence at Women's Studio Workshop in the Hudson Valley, NY, where I used the communal print shops. Now I am stationed at Vermont Studio Center as a Staff-Artist, where I have a studio and limited access to the print shop.
How do you see your print background informing your more expanded practice?
Printmaking taught me to appreciate process; while the resultant work is important, there is also an immense satisfaction in the labor and problem-solving along the way. There is also an inherent graphic quality to printmaking that has definitely infiltrated my work.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Although I've been around print/book communities for so long, I still haven't made a proper artist's book! I would love to collaborate with Small Editions, or with a kickass risograph studio like Wing Club Press or Endless Editions. Also, I really want to collaborate with an artist working in experimental animation. Particularly anyone featured at the Eyeworks Festival.
Where are some of your favorite spaces in ______ (you're everywhere all at once at the moment - pick a city!) for contemporary art or design?
I'm not too familiar with art spaces in Vermont yet, so I will take this opportunity to shout out some great spaces in my hometown of Minneapolis - The White Page, Midway Contemporary Art, Highpoint, Soap Factory, Walker Art Center, and so many more. Every time I go back to visit there is another amazing artist-run gallery that just popped up. The Twin Cities is a really supportive place for artists, especially emerging artists.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm delving into the wonderful world of waterbased monotypes! I've fallen head over heels with Caran D'Ache Neocolor pastels, as a way of making gorgeously colorful and textured monotypes (à la my latest print crush Karen Lederer). I'm also exploring combining prints with prisms, mirrors, and warped glass to create optical illusions.