Kristy Deetz’s drapery paintings on carved wood invoke and revise European canonical painting. A drapery may stand in for the body, free of specific gender connotations while still creating a human presence. The often carved surfaces in the painting construction, along with the illusionistically painted drapery images, blend painting and sculpture, and object and illusion, allowing the referents to resonate on multiple levels.
In her paintings, illusionistically painted drapery and fruit substitute for the body, a barrier between interiors (still life objects) and exteriors (landscapes, perspective lines, houses, tornadoes), or a boundary where interiors meet exteriors. The drapery embodies substance but also spirit: the point where ideas, people, cultures, and emotions cross and sometimes merge. Drapery connects dynamic with static. Drapery becomes a catalyst for exploring the conflict between belief and deed. The drapery image interweaves the autobiographical with the historical, the past with the present, the self with another–exploring the metaphorical possibilities of material, process and content resulting in multivalent outcomes where symbols and metaphors continually evolve and recycle.