Halfway between a dream world and reality, Kat Silvers creates creepy, animalistic creatures through oil on canvas.
The 42-year-old picked up a shaky paintbrush at 7, and eventually graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia with a degree in art therapy.
“I’m fascinated with dreams and the worlds inside us,” Silvers said. “My work is a journey into the imagination with hybrid people guiding the way.”
The Rochester, New York native lived in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston, traveling by train and selling her work before moving to Gulfport with her children just a few months ago.
“I wanted to live my whole life right by the ocean,” Silvers said. “I have children..we make art together.”
Even though she’s said goodbye for now to urban life on the East Coast, Silver’s style reflects the edgy oddball-ism of the Philadelphia art world.
Sweet Dreams Are Made of These
Silvers’s cheery personality is a stark contrast to her art, where a world of rabbits, frogs, pigs and other soft barnyard souls look out through blank eyes, thin smiles and narrow, willowy frames,
The artist began her now-signature style about six years ago, and got pulled into a dream-like wormhole.
“It’s sort of like a play, but these characters are not on a stage; they’re acting out their own stories,” Silvers said. “My mission through my artwork is to get people’s attention, to remind them to live life.”
She pairs moody backgrounds grounded in realism with the simple lines and emotionless smiles of her characters, resulting in an element of genuine eeriness.
“There are parts of us that are human and parts of us that are not, and it may creep us out to embrace that,” Silvers said.
About the Rabbits
Silvers experiments with many subjects, including women and even blue whales, but rabbits are a common motif.
Sometimes dressed in Victorian-era turtlenecked dresses and sometimes looking lost and primitive, time and time again she paints the species in varying settings.
According to Silvers, she started noticing wild hares on her regular walks to a Philadelphia train station.
The artist in her decided to go deeper.
“The rabbit has been one of my spirit animals for a long time; I see them everywhere,” Silvers said. “Among other things, they are a symbol of the shadow self, which goes back to a connection to dreams in my work.”
Though her move to a vastly different arts community is significant, Silvers plans to organically grow with her creations and continue selling paintings online and “in store.”
“The more you look the more you see,” she said. “My art aims to kind of draw people in to look a little harder at the messages and symbolism of this world.”