Kaitlin Lee Garza was raised by artists, provoking her interest in painting, illustration, and literature from an early age. After graduating high school in San Diego, she pursued a degree in illustration at Parsons the New School for Design in New York with the goal of following in her parents’ footsteps. The city had different plans for Kaitlin, and here she decided to follow an independent path in contemporary fine art. 

Kaitlin’s work is a product of embodied, emotional experience. Unable to separate the idea of becoming a professional illustrator from her abusive birth father, Kaitlin began making abstract art as a cathartic release and outgrowth of her struggle with major depressive disorder.

In her darkest moments, Kaitlin would self isolate and paint in a method reflective of more radical expressionists, using violent strokes and dark colors to convey the pain of her loneliness. 

Spring 2017 marks an inflection point for Kaitlin, as she underwent four months of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) - a less invasive, updated form of electric shock therapy - to treat her depression. From then on, Kaitlin’s energy shifted, and she began rediscovering illustration by line drawing figures of those close to her.

This exhibition showcases a variety of Kaitlin’s figurative and expressionistic paintings from before and after her treatment, many made during her residency at Chinatown Soup. Currently influenced by Mondrian, Twombly and Matisse, she implements their techniques and styles to create her own. Kaitlin has exhibited her paintings and illustrations throughout the United States and sold her work internationally to collectors in Asia, Europe, and North America. She currently lives and works in New York and Los Angeles.

Chinatown Soup