Katherine Rey Samels, AKA K.Rey is a visual artist and musician/ songwriter from Brooklyn, New York .Originally from Minneapolis Katherine comes from a family of artists and musicians and has an extensive background in music and fashion*.
In the last decade painting has become more of a primary focus for Katherine as it allows for her expression in a more tactile, physical and object-based way. Her paintings echo a synthesis of abstract expressionism and folk art. She often uses a mixture of symbols, vibrant colors & simplicity to evoke a chaos, which is often ordered by deliberate brush strokes.
Major influences in her work are her Mexican American roots, Latin American Surrealism, death, sexuality, duality & social injustice.
Katherine works with acrylics, watercolors, paint markers and ink on wood and canvas.
She has studied art & music at Cooper Union, School of Visual Arts & The New School in New York City.
Katherine is a mother, lives and works in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, N.Y. and is Latin & Queer identified.
-Worked with Yohji Yamamoto & Perry Ellis - make up for runway shows & print (including a cover for WWD).
-Toured Europe, the US, Canada & Haiti
-Opened up for The Clash, The Go-Gos and VanMorrison
-Guitar player for Riske, one of the first all female Haitian bands. One of the highlights was opening for Tito Puente.
-Guitarist with Transisters, one of the first all female bands that had a Trans singer the iconic Chloe Dzubilo
-She is currently the songwriter & guitarist for her musical project Juniper Smyth with original songs streaming on Spotify and Apple Music
My need to create is fundamental. Duality, tension, nature, sex, death, gender play and sorrow are recurrent themes in my work. I am also motivated by the racial, cultural and class divisions I experienced growing up in the American Midwest in a Mexican American family. I visited Mexico often when I was young and we would drive all across the country side in a big Pontiac convertible. I have never forgotten the vivid colors that the Indians would wear, the Religious iconography and all the different markets selling art, food, jewelry & clothes all of it imbued with lustful color and imagination. I am compelled to express all of these things in my work. My intention is to create a landscape of philosophy and spirituality, which includes sadness and struggle, courage and strength.