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White Noise

new assemblages

April 17 - May 23, 2019

KAT FLYN, Dumbo, 2019


Dumbo, 2019

assemblage sculpture: handmade wood marble game, painted Trump face, 6 small tin globes, 1 antique toy globe, old distressed puppet

5h x 17w x 4d in
12.70h x 43.18w x 10.16d cm


I built a replica of an old child's marble bowling game showing President Trump swallowing our planet's resources. If you accept the nearly unanimous conclusion by scientists that global warming is caused by human activity then the climate change denials by the clown in the White House are no laughing matter. A lone polar bear stands on the platform as witness to the tragedy taking place.

KAT FLYN, Shine, 2018


Shine, 2018

assemblage sculpture: large tin advertising sign, 4 stereotyped wood bellhops, 3 handmade shoeshine boxes, photos of black WWII soldiers, wood discs of photo transfers of soldiers

48h x 28w x 10d in
121.92h x 71.12w x 25.40d cm


The fashions we costume ourselves in are not without important cultural significance. Until the conclusion of WWII, the limited employment opportunities available to African American men and women often required them to wear clownish uniforms meant to demean them and imply that they were not fit for more mature roles in society – bell hops, shoeshine “boys,” doormen, chauffeurs, porters and maids.

KAT FLYN, Trailer Park, 2018


Trailer Park, 2018

assemblage sculpture: handmade wood toy trailer, hand painted wood carvings, old empty lard can, hand painted sign, wood cross, rhinestone Jesus pin, vintage table, mental wind-up mouse

43h x 22w x 16d in
109.22h x 55.88w x 40.64d cm


The election of Donald Trump placed a spotlight on lower-class white families. This work lampoons the stereotypes we often have of those families. The piece is intentionally whimsical. The point is that until we see beyond superficial (and misleading) stereotypes, we have little hope of making any progress toward solving issues related to this, or any, class of individuals.

KAT FLYN, Katrina, 2018


Katrina, 2018

assemblage sculpture: antique shoe shine box converted into hearse, vintage racist stereotyped wood dolls in pullout drawers, old wooden driver, Victorian collapsible parasol, old doll carriage wheels, brass trumpet

28h x 16w x 13d in
71.12h x 40.64w x 33.02d cm


Katrina refers to the devastating hurricane that crippled New Orleans during George Bush's second administration. The word itself has come to be synonymous with government failure to adequately protect citizens from catastrophe. I fashioned a hearse from an old shoeshine box, which reminds us (from the caskets in the rear) that it was Black Americans who suffered the brunt of the government's ineffectiveness.

KAT FLYN, Lady Parts, 2018


Lady Parts, 2018

assemblage sculpture: hand carved breasts on top of cash register shaped case with hips, containing antique bustle (not shown), bunny manual 1968 (copy - 1 of 5), hard plastic doll, sexy deck of cards and brothel coins in old cashier's box

19h x 15w x 11d in
48.26h x 38.10w x 27.94d cm


This work is fashioned as a cash register, including brothel coins, to signify how our culture cashes in on the female anatomy. (Note: It includes a Playboy Bunny Manual from the 1960s, an amazing historical documentation of male chauvinism.)

KAT FLYN, Trump Memorial, 2018


Trump Memorial, 2018

assemblage sculpture: re-constructed wood memorial, hand painted graffiti, hand painted old bank, antique tin articulated figure

10h x 14w x 9d in
25.40h x 35.56w x 22.86d cm


A model of the Lincoln Memorial is defaced, suggesting that metaphorically Trump has debased our public discourse with his lies and incessant tweeting. A contrast is drawn between Lincoln, who is a symbol of national unity, and Trump, who is a divisive political figure. Trump, as portrayed by a clownish figure, has moved into the Lincoln Memorial, and what appears to be the ghost of Abe Lincoln is seen leaving the building. “So sad.”

KAT FLYN, No Artificial Colors, 2018


No Artificial Colors, 2018

assemblage sculpture: old box with racist wallpaper on door, 3 racist stereotype dolls, 2 stereotyped dish towels on rack, cabinet card

25h x 18w x 5d in
63.50h x 45.72w x 12.70d cm


It was common for Black characters to become incorporated into White culture in the form of figurines, advertisements, and household products – Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, etc., - where White consumers could engage in the fantasy of having servants.

KAT FLYN, The Wall, 2018


The Wall, 2018

assemblage sculpture: wall remade from old wood bench, acrylic painted American flag face, Uncle Sam National Security Bank, vintage rubber family, White Power pin

30h x 12w x 8d in
76.20h x 30.48w x 20.32d cm


This work references “The Wall” that Trump made a central part of his campaign for president and which, at the date of this piece's completion, still looms large in his demands for immigration reform. To many, if not most, Americans this “wall” represents an approach to resolving our immigration problem that is both overly simplistic and cruel – a national disgrace in the making.

KAT FLYN, Nesting Ground, 2018


Nesting Ground, 2018

assemblage sculpture: old farrier box remade into an iceberg, wood waves, wood palm tree, two porcelain signs, one metal sign, ten wood bowling pins remade into penguins, hand painted with graffiti, six vintage wooden walking penguins


Climate Change is having a profoundly negative effect on ecosystems all over the planet. How can our species be so intelligent to have created a civilization so powerful that it has caused the planet to heat up but be too stupid to do anything to stop it from destroying us in the process? 

The penguins are tagged with global warnings.

KAT FLYN, Tar Baby, 2018


Tar Baby, 2018

assemblage sculpture: old handmade bench, carved wood doll, felt hat, old toy metal gun

20h x 13w x 8d in
50.80h x 33.02w x 20.32d cm


Tar Baby originated in our culture in the Uncle Remus story about Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby. The more Brer Rabbit tried to fight the Tar Baby, the more entangled he became. The term has evolved over time to mean a sticky situation to the point of being a problem without a solution like guns in America.

KAT FLYN, 1 in 3, 2018


1 in 3, 2018

assemblage sculpture: vintage flag, souvenir t-shirt from execution vigil, skull on canvas, 3 wood racist stereotype dolls, box remade into cell, photo of jail cell, vintage photo of three young men with a gun

35h x 24w in
88.90h x 60.96w cm


I am drawing attention to the fact that 1 in 3 Black men will be sentenced to prison in their lifetime and 1 in 3 inmates in our prison system is Black. Prison Reform is long overdue in America, as is abolishing the death penalty, which is still permitted in 30 states.

KAT FLYN, Home by Christmas, 2018


Home by Christmas, 2018

assemblage sculpture: old wood ammo box, antique rifle butt, WWI soldier doll, old wood toy horse, brass shell, vintage small brass trumpet, hand painted black cross on canvas, six old wood uniformed dolls


In the fall of 1914 soldiers marched off to War singing the popular song, “We'll Be Home by Christmas.” The four years of incredible carnage that ensued should have stood for all time as a warning beacon for the futility of war. And yet, like lemmings, we continue to go over the cliff, never seeming to be aware of that futility.

KAT FLYN, Creole, 2018


Creole, 2018

assemblage sculpture: wood box with handmade and painted shutters, old wood painted bird, vintage hand painted watercolor, old burnt doll, old doll tied to cross, antique bottles and stoppers, vintage rabbits foot, antique top hat, vintage pincushion, antique tintype


A shout-out to the rich and unique culture emanating from Louisiana's Creole population.

KAT FLYN, Trappings, 2018


Trappings, 2018

assemblage sculpture: old frame, tin badges, old gun, carving, photo of black boy in cowboy outfit in mousetrap

20h x 8w x 3d in
50.80h x 20.32w x 7.62d cm


Trappings refer to outward appearances – the “trappings of poverty,” “the trappings of wealth,” etc.- but trappings are about appearances not substance. In this work, the trappings (Deputy Badges) are of law and order. The message is reinforced by another layer of meaning: The word “trappings” is derived from the word “trap” and so beneath the body of this piece there is an actual (mouse) trap with a photo of a young man. The suggestion is that he is trapped - trapped by our real practices concerning “law and order” and/or by the color of his skin, and perhaps by his cowboy fantasy or a combination of all three.

KAT FLYN, The Talk, 2018


The Talk, 2018

assemblage: old handheld pinball game, racist target, old top, fishing line, tintype of a black boy

14h x 6w x 1d in
35.56h x 15.24w x 2.54d cm


Black parents have to prepare their sons and daughters for encounters with the police, which can turn deadly. While they are still children playing with toys, they must learn about the reality of growing up Black in America.

KAT FLYN, I Am, 2018


I Am, 2018

assemblage sculpture: foot rest from old shoe shine box, wood arms and legs from old toy dog, hand-painted face with words "I am"

13h x 4w x 2d in
33.02h x 10.16w x 5.08d cm


A memorial to a young Black man shot down in the street by a White bully with a gun and a Stand Your Ground excuse.

KAT FLYN, Medusa, 2017


Medusa, 2017

assemblage sculpture: 10 ft snake with hand-drawn Tarot cards & photos on cloth of girls with snakes rolls up into wooden bait box with hand made and painted snakes

132h x 12w x 7d in
335.28h x 30.48w x 17.78d cm


This unusual feminist work consists of a series of manipulated photos on cloth and hand-drawn tarot cards attached to a 10” snakeskin telling the feminist tale of the battle of matriarchy versus patriarchy. Medusa, a strong female figure, was portrayed as hideous and was maligned by patriarchal societies. The snakeskin scroll rolls up into a headpiece cabinet and can be unraveled to adjust to the available height of the wall space.

KAT FLYN, The Fight, 2017


The Fight, 2017

assemblage sculpture: old wood box, clay chips with fighters, old leather punching bag, two handmade wood boxers, antique metal Bare Knuckles Championship belt engraved with two boxers

30h x 13w x 9d in
76.20h x 33.02w x 22.86d cm


This work makes loose references to the historical bout between Jim Jeffries (“The Great White Hope”) and Jack Johnson in 1910. Johnson knocked down Jeffries 3 times, and the bout was called with Johnson as the winner. This was a stunning turn of events for most White Americans at the time, as they were unaccustomed to witnessing Black superiority over White performers in any field of endeavor.

KAT FLYN, Camptown Racists, 2017


Camptown Racists, 2017

assemblage sculpture: Farrier box made into stands, hand-made wood horse & jockeys, wood stereotype figures

18h x 24w x 14d in
45.72h x 60.96w x 35.56d cm


The first running of the Kentucky Derby was in 1875. The first winning jockey, Oliver Lewis, was African American. 13 of the 15 jockeys who raced that day were Black. Black jockeys won 15 of the first 28 runnings of the Kentucky Derby. However, by the 1904 racing season, Jim Crow laws had all but barred Black jockeys (& trainers).

KAT FLYN, Foreclosure: The American Dream, 2017


Foreclosure: The American Dream, 2017

old child's kitchen table, hand made signs, hand made house & wood dolls

45h x 20w x 20d in
114.30h x 50.80w x 50.80d cm



Two views of the American Dream of home ownership are mounted on opposite sides of the table, demonstrating the dichotomy of that dream in our society. Both views inhabit the same base, but each view is invisible to and structurally separate from the other. But both were vulnerable to the foreclosure crisis that swept the country when the housing bubble collapsed during the Great Recession of 2008.

KAT FLYN, Bleachers, 2017


Bleachers, 2017

assemblage sculpture: chewing tobacco tin remade into baseball stands, 2 handmade scoreboards, old glove, carved baseball figure, old wood racist caricatures of people in the stands

18h x 13w x 11d in
45.72h x 33.02w x 27.94d cm


This baseball imagery symbolizes a racist aspect of American Culture. A time in the history of Jim Crow laws when Blacks were segregated at water fountains, public bathrooms, schools and, as shown here, even at baseball games, where they were roped off behind chicken wire.

KAT FLYN, Extinction, 2017


Extinction, 2017

assemblage sculpture: constructed bus bench from old coke box, vintage wood figure with old toy globe head, old distressed puppet

16h x 19w x 6d in
40.64h x 48.26w x 15.24d cm


The figure on the right, representing the animal kingdom, or perhaps, Mother Nature, stares worriedly at Earth Boy, who appears bruised and battered. There is a sense that they are waiting for a bus that may never arrive.

KAT FLYN, Land of Opportunity, 2017


Land of Opportunity, 2017

assemblage sculpture: wood handmade truck and Uncle Sam driver, small hand painted racist caricature skittle pins

9h x 16w x 9d in
22.86h x 40.64w x 22.86d cm


Our government and country wrestle with an ambivalence toward illegal immigration. This work portrays that ambivalence through depicting a truck loaded with migrant workers being chauffeured by Uncle Sam – are they being brought in to work or being deported?

KAT FLYN, Black Beauty, 2017


Black Beauty, 2017

assemblage sculpture: old wood box with stereotype wood dolls on id, old "Black Beauty" book-box with photos, Sweet Dixie hair dressing tin, old cardboard framed photo

12h x 6w x 4d in
30.48h x 15.24w x 10.16d cm


For decades in this country, the ideal of female beauty was to be White with straight hair. For decades, Black girls & Black women had to conform to this ideal. One way they tried to achieve this was to use hair straighteners. It is encouraging to see that times have changed.

KAT FLYN, Men in Uniform, 2017


Men in Uniform, 2017

assemblage sculpture: old baseball game with handmade player spinner, 5 vintage wood uniformed figures, photo of ballplayers morphed into soldiers, 11 metal ball players from old pinball game, photo transfer on wood disk

25h x 15w x 4d in
63.50h x 38.10w x 10.16d cm


Following WWII, both the military and major league baseball desegregated. The slow train of racial progress has still not arrived at its rightful destination, but at least it has left the station.

KAT FLYN, Kitchen Help, 2017


Kitchen Help, 2017

assemblage sculpture: antique wooden cheese grater refashioned into a statue, ribbon, vintage racist bell-doll

22h x 7w x 4d in
55.88h x 17.78w x 10.16d cm


Constructed from an old cheese grater and a ribbon, I remind myself of how easy it is in our culture to slip into viewing Black women as house cleaners and kitchen helpers.

KAT FLYN, Butch, 2017


Butch, 2017

assemblage sculpture: painted photo transfer on wood of tomboys, tintype of tomboy, boy toys, doll with cut hair

14h x 8w x 3d in
35.56h x 20.32w x 7.62d cm


Here's to all the girls who risked disapproval and ridicule from their peers and parents as they shunned dolls and dresses for the toys and lives their brothers had.

KAT FLYN, Last Lily Foot, 2016


Last Lily Foot, 2016

assemblage sculpture: antique jewelry box reconstructed into a rickshaw, Antique Chinese puppet head, bisque doll arms, old and young women photos with bound feet, museum artifact of bound foot in cloth, antique "lily foot" shoe, carved stone, photo of 20th century girl in drawer, Victorian fan

22h x 9w x 9d in
55.88h x 22.86w x 22.86d cm


Foot binding was a practice that crippled Chinese women for a thousand years and vestiges of it linger in the spiked heel and high heeled fashion popular in the present day. The ideal 3-inch “Golden Lily” shoe stands next to the old cotton replica of her deformed foot.

KAT FLYN, Last Lily Foot (open view), 2016


Last Lily Foot (open view), 2016

assemblage sculpture: antique jewelry box reconstructed into a rickshaw, Antique Chinese puppet head, bisque doll arms, old and young women photos with bound feet, museum artifact of bound foot in cloth, antique "lily foot" shoe, carved stone, photo of 20th century girl in drawer, Victorian fan

22h x 9w x 9d in


Foot binding was a practice that crippled Chinese women for a thousand years and vestiges of it linger in the spiked heel and high heeled fashion popular in the present day. The ideal 3-inch “Golden Lily” shoe stands next to the old cotton replica of her deformed foot.

KAT FLYN, Ammo Box, 2016


Ammo Box, 2016

assemblage sculpture: WWI ammo box remade into an ambulance, metal blimp, hand painted Red Cross, inside - Red Cross armband & old photo of soldier and nurse, WWI binoculars, playing cards, old poetry book "Rhymes of a Red Cross Man" written by a WWI ambulance driver

12h x 15w x 5d in
30.48h x 38.10w x 12.70d cm


I reference WWI in my art because I see it as the epitome of the senseless slaughter of war. Here an ammo box has been converted into a Red Cross ambulance filled with artifacts of an imagined soldier including a used & broken book of poetry (Rhymes of a Red Cross Man, 1916) written by an ambulance driver.

KAT FLYN, Marriage Equality, 2016


Marriage Equality, 2016

assemblage sculpture: Roman gladiators embracing on a cigar box constructed into a chapel which opens to reveal two shaving brushes getting married

14h x 9w x 4d in
35.56h x 22.86w x 10.16d cm


This work celebrates the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. Two old fashion shaving brushes represent a gay couple sanctifying their union inside a chapel constructed from an old cigar box. The two male relief figures from Classical Greek civilization on the chapel doors remind us that same-sex relationships have long historical roots.

KAT FLYN, Birthmark, 2016


Birthmark, 2016

assemblage: old painted wood peg doll, child Victorian boot, cabinet card photo, old fabric wallpaper

13h x 13w x 4d in
33.02h x 33.02w x 10.16d cm


The life simulated here is of a young mixed race woman facing life in a Jim Crow era - an era where one drop of African American blood consigned a person to a second- class existence.

KAT FLYN, Shooting Gallery, 2015


Shooting Gallery, 2015

assemblage sculpture: old farrier box, racist cutouts, tin Uncle Sam dancer, metal cowboy game pieces, 4 tintypes, old rifle

18h x 12w x 19d in
45.72h x 30.48w x 48.26d cm


This takes dead aim at how being Black in our culture is a very dangerous game. The imagery is of an old arcade shooting gallery. Throughout the 1800s, right up until the 1960s, carnival games often used racist stereotyped likenesses of African Americans as targets.

KAT FLYN, Had Wilson, 2015


Had Wilson, 2015

assemblage sculpture: old washboard, old photo in mirror, handmade beer can tambourine & metal shaker, old cymbal and drumstick, old tins, old handwritten music & joke book, old balled music book

30h x 16w x 4d in
76.20h x 40.64w x 10.16d cm


This is a portrait of a Zydeco rub-board (frottoir) player and his homemade instrument with a beer can tambourine, metal shaker, and old used accessories hanging from the rub-board.

KAT FLYN, Scottsboro Boys, 2015


Scottsboro Boys, 2015

assemblage sculpture: old box constructed as a cell boxcar photo in old frame, metal toy conductor, puppet, handmade wood doll, vintage cutout of porter

10h x 17w x 6d in
25.40h x 43.18w x 15.24d cm


This work references a famous miscarriage of justice in 1931 when nine Black teenagers were wrongly accused of raping two White women on a train near Scottsboro, Alabama. They were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. The two youngest were 13 years old…

KAT FLYN, Jack, 2015


Jack, 2015

assemblage: hand made frame, old shoe, dancing doll, old photo, stereotype bellhop face wallpaper

14h x 11w x 4d in
35.56h x 27.94w x 10.16d cm


Throughout most of our nation's history, no matter how wealthy or educated, African-American men have been stereotyped as “boys.” Nor have they been considered for anything other than menial jobs. The “dancing doll” and the background wallpaper both suggest this theme.

KAT FLYN, Mary Brown's Sampler, 2015


Mary Brown's Sampler, 2015

assemblage: constructed frame, cloth doll, pre-Civil War sampler, old coin purse, tintype of black girl

14h x 13w x 3d in
35.56h x 33.02w x 7.62d cm


The sampler is one of the ways girls learned not only how to sew but also their alphabet, a precursor to learning how to read. It was not common for a girl, especially for a young African American girl in the 19th century, to learn to read, let alone go to school.   

KAT FLYN, Oath (The), 2015


Oath (The), 2015

assemblage: constructed frame, old child bonnet, tintype, child's boots

18h x 11w x 4d in
45.72h x 27.94w x 10.16d cm


In this series, titled Ghost Portraits, an individual, long deceased, is represented through a collection of “saved” items – old photographs, a lock of hair, a hymnal, and so forth. As a rule, the life imagined was clearly a difficult one. Often a mirror is set inside the piece to nudge the viewers into seeing themselves in the life of others. Sometimes an old worn shoe, as a metaphor for a tough life lived, is included. These works are subtitled: Lost Soles.

KAT FLYN, Jubilee, 2015


Jubilee, 2015

assemblage: old frame, old cloth doll with painted face, old shoe, tintype, old wallpaper

14h x 11w x 4d in
35.56h x 27.94w x 10.16d cm


In this series, titled Ghost Portraits, an individual, long deceased, is represented through a collection of “saved” items – old photographs, a lock of hair, a hymnal, and so forth. As a rule, the life imagined was clearly a difficult one. Often a mirror is set inside the piece to nudge the viewers into seeing themselves in the life of others. Sometimes an old worn shoe, as a metaphor for a tough life lived, is included. These works are subtitled: Lost Soles

KAT FLYN, American Scream, 2014


American Scream, 2014

assemblage sculpture: original 1930s Carnival ball toss game on frame, old American flag, old coverless baseballs

38h x 48w x 3d in
96.52h x 121.92w x 7.62d cm


The blatant racism of this carnival ball toss game speaks for itself – although I stuffed an American flag down its throat to amplify the message. Carnival games often depicted African Americans as targets.

KAT FLYN, House Divided, 2014


House Divided, 2014

assemblage sculpture: reconstructed house to open as book, tintypes of Black and White people in window, old wood racist caricature of Black butler, cutout of stereotyped kids dancing, inside book - "Uncle Tom's Cabin" book, old sampler, manipulated photos of Black girl and boy

14h x 11w x 8d in
35.56h x 27.94w x 20.32d cm


I deconstructed an old dollhouse, then reworked it into a kind of storybook that opens up referencing the period just prior to the Civil War. The underlying message is that we are still a House Divided, 150 years later.

KAT FLYN, Hard Time, 2014


Hard Time, 2014

assemblage sculpture: reconstructed box to resemble jail cell, photo of a jail cell, antique brass knuckles, mug shot, man's face photo, old wood billy club

12h x 16w x 3d in
30.48h x 40.64w x 7.62d cm


Mass Incarceration has become a civil rights issue in our country. People of color are dramatically overrepresented in our prison system, mainly due to nonviolent crimes stemming from poverty-related issues. African Americans comprise 13% of our general population but 40% of our prison population. This system dehumanizes individuals and degrades minority communities and is long overdue for a major overhaul, beginning with ending the War on Drugs.

KAT FLYN, Like Father Like Son, 2014


Like Father Like Son, 2014

assemblage: Victorian frame, trench art frame with soldier photo, uniformed boy photo, German medal

12h x 14w x 5d in
30.48h x 35.56w x 12.70d cm


Bigotry and violence are so enduring because they are passed along from one generation to the next, with predictable results.

KAT FLYN, Little Brown Doll, 2012


Little Brown Doll, 2012

assemblage: old frame, hand mirror, rag doll, boot, tintype of black girl, old wallpaper

12h x 10w x 4d in
30.48h x 25.40w x 10.16d cm


A worn shoe, an old doll, a rusted tintype, all represent a tough life. “Little Brown Doll” alludes not just to the doll in the work but also to the child whose life is being imagined.

KAT FLYN, Ghost Girl, 2010


Ghost Girl, 2010

assemblage: old frame, old boot, bisque doll, antique negative photo of girl on glass

17h x 12w x 4d in
43.18h x 30.48w x 10.16d cm


In this series, titled Ghost Portraits, an individual, long deceased, is represented through a collection of “saved” items – old photographs, a lock of hair, a hymnal, and so forth. The life imagined was clearly a difficult one. Often a mirror is set inside the piece to nudge the viewers into seeing themselves in the life of others. Sometimes an old worn shoe, as a metaphor for a tough life lived, is included. These works are subtitled: Lost Soles.

Press Release

K A T   F L Y N



17 April 2019 (New Orleans, LA) JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is pleased to announce White Noise, the first solo exhibition of San Diego-based assemblage artist Kat Flyn. A finalist of the 2018 NO DEAD ARTISTS International Juried Exhibition, Flyn expands on her earlier work and presents a collection of assemblage sculptures that simultaneously reflect on the past and create a commentary on contemporary issues of racism, misogyny, climate change, and LGBT rights. The exhibition will be on view from 17 April to 23 May 2019 and an opening reception will be held on Saturday 4 May from 6 to 11 pm in conjunction with Arts District New Orleans’ (ADNO) annual Jammin' on Julia arts and culture festival. 

The artist elaborates on her artistic process and the inspiration for these assemblages...

I am an assemblage sculptor but I construct, more than assemble, my works. I search out collectibles, artifacts and wood carvings and then build scenes to make statements regarding American society. Even when I use artifacts from earlier centuries, my subject is almost always about contemporary America. Social injustice, racism, sexism, and violence - aspects of our national psyche that exist in the present but have their seeds in our past. Additionally, the artifacts I use are often meant to amplify the meaning of the work. For instance, the Black wood figures I use in many of my pieces represent stereotypes from the past that were crafted from the White imagination. By using such artifacts, I ask: What kind of society produces such items in the first place? 

I make a strict distinction between found objects and saved objects. A found object - which most assemblage artists use in their works - is devoid of intrinsic or emotional value, having been discarded by its owner as worthless or broken. A saved object, on the other hand, has a retained value, either because it was intrinsically valuable or because emotional value had been invested into it (such as a photograph, an old shoe, a vintage toy). Consequently, such objects were saved rather than discarded. The fact that I use only “saved objects” sometimes results in viewers being attracted to the individual pieces within my works rather than seeing the narrative I am attempting to portray. 

The pieces in this exhibition stretch from my early works, such as my Ghost Portrait Series - where I attempt to capture a sense of what life might have been like for the person imagined in each work – right up to my current work, which I loosely label, “Ripped From The Headlines.” In these more recent pieces, I deal with contemporary issues. A unifying theme that emerges from this body of work is the idea that for us to resolve so called “contemporary issues,” we must first recognize that their origins exist in our past. I describe myself as a White-Anti-Racist- Feminist-Artist. My sympathies almost always reside with the underdog, so these works highlight the rigged institutionalized aspects of our culture, which have led us to our present state. Many deal with racism, but many also deal with other pressing topics, such as climate change (Extinction and Nesting Ground), misogyny (Lady Parts, Medusa and The Last Lily Foot), LGBT rights (Marriage Equality and Butch), immigration (The Wall and Land of Opportunity), and war (Home by Christmas, Ammo Box and Like Father, Like Son). 

My visual style of presentation lies somewhere between cartoonish and folk art. This might seem at odds with the underlying seriousness of the subject matter, however, I have found that viewers' initial response to my work is more favorable when I visually phrase my topic in this way. I want viewers to pause long enough to look past the art and see into the narrative…





Kat Flyn is a self-taught assemblage artist working presently out of San Diego. She began her career as a costume designer in Southern California. Over the years she has amassed a trove of artifacts and collectibles, which she began using to create assemblage art in the 1990s. In 2000 she sold her business and moved to Cuyamaca, a remote community in the mountains outside of San Diego to devote herself exclusively to her artwork. In 2003 her work was interrupted when the Cedar Fire swept through San Diego county and destroyed the forest, her home & studio along with almost all of her collections and works of art. Following the fire she relocated to San Francisco, where she spent a decade concentrating on her art in her studio in SOMA and exhibiting at galleries in the Bay Area. In 2015 she returned to San Diego and now works out of her studio in La Jolla, exhibiting there and in Los Angeles.

Kat Flyn refers to herself as an Assemblage Sculptor and her works as Political Art or Protest Art. She separates herself from other assemblage artists in that she only employs “saved” as opposed to “found” objects in her work; and her pieces always have a political or cultural narrative to them rather than being surreal or abstract. She also constructs or refashions many of the pieces which she uses in her art – a soft drink box into a tenement building (Affordable Housing, 2017), a jewelry box into a wheel chair (Last Lily Foot, 2016), an old shoe shine box into a hearse (Katrina, 2018). The result is her work is closer in appearance to Folk Art than Assemblage Art.


For more information, press or sales inquiries please contact the gallery at 504.522.5471. Please join the conversation with JFG on Facebook (@JonathanFerraraGallery), Twitter (@JFerraraGallery), and Instagram (@JonathanFerraraGallery) via the hashtags:  #KatFlyn, #JonathanFerraraGallery and #ArtsDistrictNewOrleans.