Kim Goldfarb received a BFA degree in drawing and painting at the University of Georgia. She pursued a painting career and gallery directorships in Chicago simultaneously for seventeen years. In the early 90’s she changed direction in her art endeavors and began working in figurative sculpture. She furthered her sculpture interests with a move to New Mexico in the late 90’s with exhibits at Marigold Arts, Manitou Gallery, and Evoke Contemporary, all in Santa Fe.
In 2008 an experience at the Pilchuck Glass School changed the direction of her art again. She designed several remarkable glass sculptures which were blown and hot sculpted by a prestigious glassblowing team. The fast paced, collaborative experience that Goldfarb had directing the production of her glass sculpture profoundly affected her. The sculpture that she produced on her own had become too slow and tedious to satisfy her. In a bold move she decided to switch gears and return to painting.
Since 2009 she has been painting in earnest, producing a body of work that she is very proud of and is now beginning to exhibit. Some things have remained constant in her work, the focus on the figure and the emotions that the human form provokes, whether in painting or sculpture. Working with the figure in sculpture, in fact, has given her the sure hand that you see in her paintings.
Racial and cultural issues
“My work is figurative, depicting mainly women and girls. Some have called my paintings portraits, and I guess in some ways they are. However, I don’t set out to paint a portrait of a particular person and I don’t use live models. Sometimes I browse photographs of people I don’t know as reference points for paintings. Old black and white snapshots are some of my favorites. The expression on the sitter’s face is often what attracts me; In many of my paintings a lone woman stares solemnly, directly at the viewer. The only narrative in the painting is with the viewer. These women want to engage us, to be seen and understood.
My subjects echo my own feelings. Growing up in the deep South with the yearning to be an artist wasn’t easy. I was a shy child and spent a lot of time alone cultivating my imagination. My latest body of work speaks of my childhood. I grew up around African American women and I admired their strength, courage and determination. My own mother told me she didn’t want me, and I was basically raised by an African-American teenager, my babysitter, who showed me the only love I knew at the time. She was the only source of affection or attention I found in my childhood, and the most profound thing to me about that was that she was so young. The schools were desegregated in my small town when I was in middle school. What I saw and what I experienced personally in those formative years deeply affected me. My intent is to honor these women and children of color and to portray the strength I see in them through my own experience and the resulting paintings.”