Kansas City-based artist Zoe Green works "from the human form and everyday life experiences to create opalescent environments that explore our more vulnerable thoughts regarding mortality and aging." She describes her work as "ambiguous" with "strong undertones and references to religious upbringing and LGBTQIA issues." Enjoy our interview with the artist about her work, influences and recommendations.
Which medium do you enjoy working in most?
Oil. Oil paint has a long working time; you can move that paint around for hours, even days before it starts to dry. It’s easy to blend which helps me achieve the depth the human form has to offer.
Please describe 'opalescent environments' and how these are show in your work.
Opalescence is the variance of colors, and this idea is what I try to embody in my work. Your feelings and personality are worn on your skin; I see them as colors. This intensity is what brings symbolism and emotion into my paintings.
Does your work comment on any current social or political issues?
While my work is ambiguous, there are strong undertones and references to religious upbringing and LGBTQIA issues. This past year my work has focused on what it means to grow up queer in a religious, Midwestern family and the struggles we face.
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
The modern day painters Jenny Saville and Eric Fischl played a huge part in my development as a figurative painter. I was also influenced heavily by the Symbolist Movement and their goal to represent ideas through color and form.
Can your work be purchased currently?
Yes. I am available for socially distanced studio visits to view available work, and can be contacted through Instagram (@zoeopalgreen) or my website (www.zoeopalgreen.com) for inquiries.
What's next? What are you working on now?
I’ve been busy with commissions recently, but hope to return to my personal work soon. I am interested in the process of layering, and what that could mean for my figurative paintings.
JCL Book/Music Recommendations:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
This is my favorite book. The depth and intensity of Jane’s feelings are beautiful. There’s also a lot of theories that Jane was a queer character, and the same is said for the author Charlotte.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
I’m a huge fan of classic British literature. This love story is beautiful and one unique to its time. The main character, Helen, is incredibly independent and outspoken, and continuously sets boundaries to protect herself and her son.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
This was one of my favorite books to read when I was young. It’s terribly clever and exciting, with very dynamic characters. You never know what is coming, and I would recommend it to any young person.
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
I love that this book is historical non-fiction; the author did so much research to make it as accurate as possible, while still creating an incredibly visual story.
Sabriel by Garth Nix
One of my favorites in the Fantasy genre, The Old Kingdom series is complex and dark. There will always be a part of me who loves magic and mystery.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I always feel a lot of nostalgia whenever I read Little Women. I think of my mother, grandmothers and siblings. It’s loving and genuine.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I love strong woman characters, and Jane Austen’s humor brings them to life in the best way.