Kristen Martin-Aarnio is a visual artist living and working in Bayonne, NJ. She is primarily a mixed media sculptor, but her work also includes painting and installation. Her artwork pulls together unique objects and rearranges them into surreal colorful abstract environments. Throughout her art pieces, she explores themes of environmental collapse, the beauty of nature/animals, and organic versus structural forms. Kristen’s art has been exhibited in galleries and museums including New Hope Arts, Plaxall Gallery, Queens Museum of Art, etc. She studied and received degrees at both School of Visual Arts and Greenfield Community College. Her awards include the Medici Art and Archibald MacLeish Award for excellence in the arts.
Materials are a big inspiration for my work. I use everything ranging from traditional oil paint to materials taken out of the garbage/recycling bins to make sculptures. Thinking about our environment and our harmful overabundance of garbage, I have been using more discarded items. This includes broken Christmas lights, single use plastics, fabric fragments, old clothing, netting from vegetable packaging, etc. With these materials, I build abstract environments. I play and arrange the materials in a unique way. References of nature, animals, and structures frequently play out in my work. I blend in my love of color and playfulness to create a surreal place where all these items live and interact with each other.