My paintings and mixed media pieces begin with feelings; emotions so visceral they are physically felt. These bodily experiences lead me inward, where I grapple with my mental illness, identity and personal history. Sometimes my motivation is simply an intense, chaotic rush of meaningfulness that only I can sense. Or a sweet moment to be savored, like my child’s small arms wrapped around my neck; A love or a longing that makes my blood hum. In life and art, I ride the weather until it passes.
When painting, I often begin with a wash of hot color like orange or magenta. I use Pyrrole Orange especially, because of its energy and heat. These hot grounds are the inner cores of my paintings. I stabilize these fiery bases with the blues of water and sky. Sometimes I pave over them with inky grays, purples and greens so dark they are almost black. Nevertheless this hot lifeblood peeks out from beneath so many of my paintings, reminding me it’s always there. It’s easy to assume that the use of bright colors indicate joy or effervescence. For me bright, bold colors represent the intensity and, often, discomfort of the mental and physical states I experience. A clashing of worlds
From the tumultuous energy of my bold brush strokes and energetic marks imagery emerges: hands grasping or figures in a state of struggle or surrender. Careful color choices define the space of my paintings and build spaces within them; fragile places that seem balanced on the precipice of motion, or even catastrophe. A similar struggle ensues with my mixed media pieces: the recognizable is subsumed by chaos only to be overtaken by the precision of a found object, rooting the piece in reality again.
Krista Dedrick-Lai is a visual artist whose work is rooted in emotions, bodily experiences and identity. Storms swirl and figures struggle (or surrender) in Krista’s paintings, as they navigate chaotic environments. After earning her BFA from Tyler School of Art, Krista made Philadelphia her home and now lives and works just steps from the Italian Market with her husband and young son. Her work has been shown in a number of Philadelphia galleries, across the country and in virtual spaces such as I Like Your Work, Dear Artists and Stay Home Gallery. Recently Krista’s work was included in the exhibition Painting at Night organized by The Artist Mother Network, curated by Melanie Cooper Pennington and hosted by Artlink Contemporary Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 2021 a poster Krista created in collaboration with Mural Arts and Streets Dept was collected by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
NYC Crit ClubStudied under Andrew Prayzner, Nora Griffin, Kris Rac and Catherine Haggerty
2002 Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA BFA, Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, Minor: Art History