Kate Kretz Biography
According to Wikipedia Kate Kretz (born 1963) is an American artist born in Grove City, PA, and raised in upstate New York.
Kretz attended the Sorbonne in Paris, and obtained a BFA in drawing and painting from Binghamton University, and was accepted into the Hoffberger School of Painting, but attended and earned an MFA from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.
Her painting is influenced by the imagery of Catholicism and Technicolor films. She has created drawings in various media (including silverpoint), paintings, embroideries done with human hair, and a series of Psychological Clothing.
Kretz’ painting, “Blessed Art Thou”, executed in 2006, depicted actress Angelina Jolie as the Virgin Mary, hovering in the clouds with her children above a Wal-Mart store. This painting was exhibited at the Miami Art Fair in January 2007 and created a worldwide controversy that was covered by ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox television networks, as well as The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. A full-size study for the work was included in the 2011 exhibition “Beyond RE Production: Mothering”, at the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin.
Kretz also creates fiber-based artwork, that has been featured at The Museum of Arts & Design in New York, The Van Gijn Museum in the Netherlands, Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing, The San Jose Museum of Textiles, the Society for Contemporary Craft, the Frost Art Museum and the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art. Her Psychological Clothing series includes a Defense Mechanism Coat with 150 lb (68 kg) of roofing nails pushed through the surface and a Vagina Dentata Purse. Another textile series features obsessive human hair embroideries that look like intricate drawings.
Kretz Was Banned From Facebook & Instagram Also Removed Images of Her ‘Hate Hats’
Kretz posted her MAGA Hat series on Facebook in March. She said the posts “received an overwhelmingly positive response with thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.” She said a minority was “offended by their cursory look at the swastika,” and the overall initial reaction to the shocking pieces was, “WTF?,” but that “they loved the piece, even more, when they saw what it actually was.”
She said one of the “Hate Hats” sold to a prominent collector within days.”
But earlier this month, Facebook removed the posts for violating its “community standards.”
— Kate Kretz (@kkretz4art) May 20, 2019
She appealed saying it was art, “…and (like political cartoons) they included the offensive symbol to make a point about it.”
My FB account has been disabled since Thurs morning due to my new MAGA Hat series of ripped up MAGA hats resewn into new objects. Shown: “Hate Hat”, 2019, deconstructed MAGA hats, thread, cotton. More at https://t.co/DbCyTTP9as #Censorship #censoredart pic.twitter.com/1QrPdU9zYq
— Kate Kretz (@kkretz4art) May 10, 2019
She said “Facebook responded to my protest by removing even more images. On the morning of Thursday, May 9th, I found that my account had been disabled.”
Kretz Calls Her Work ‘Provocative.’ Anti-Trump & Anti-Gun Works Are Among Those That She Says Calls Out the Injustices She Sees, Features Trump in Many Works
Kretz says that the “only ‘official’ MAGA hat” she used, the others were knock-offs, she wrote and said the official hat put “money in Trump’s pocket …was ripped apart strand by strand, all the way down to individual threads.”
The piece is entitled, “Hate Hat II, Dismantled: The Disease That Thought It Was The Cure.”
— Kate Kretz (@kkretz4art) February 20, 2019
Kretz said eight years ago, she took her art from “personal to the political.”
“I was thinking about the world my newborn daughter would grow up in. I was overwhelmed by the daily news and was starting to pick up on cultural rumblings all around me that were quite unsettling: that drove me to research and creation at an unprecedented, feverish pitch that continues to this day. My practice is now devoted to calling out injustices against disparate parts of our community, investigating overlaps to suggest that, although the victims may change, the perpetrators are often the same. I have named the ongoing series “#bullyculture”, because I believe that the U.S. cultivates aggression and entitlement in a myriad of ways, both overt and subtle. Much of the work in this series foreshadowed both the 2016 election and the #metoo movement by several years.”
— Kate Kretz (@kkretz4art) May 14, 2019
Since Being Thrown Off Facebook, Kretz Has Received A Lot of Support, But Not From Everyone
This is what I see when I see MAGA hats. Thank you artist Kate Kretz @kkretz4art for articulating what was on the tip of my tongue. The MAGA hat feels like a modern Klan hood because the appeal behind it is wrapped up in white victimhood and racist repression. pic.twitter.com/5TDBa4YD6E
— Touré (@Toure) May 25, 2019
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2017
@facebook bans artist after she posted swastika made of @realDonaldTrump MAGA hats: https://t.co/dkqFOqI3kL Kate Kretz, artist, refashions Donald Trump’s infamous “Make America Great Again” hats into traditional symbols of white supremacy, Ku Klux Klan hood, and swastika armband. pic.twitter.com/xJXaiKXvkV
— BlakeNordstrom1 (@BlakeNordstrom1) May 26, 2019
— SD Murray (@swalke6) May 26, 2019
This is an interesting question. My friend, Kate Kretz, has been banned from Facebook for posting images and… https://t.co/q3rvGOeIHA
— Johanna Minich (@FJMinich) May 26, 2019
“This is what I see when I see MAGA hats. Thank you artist Kate Kretz @kkretz4art for articulating what was on the tip of my tongue. The MAGA hat feels like a modern Klan hood because the appeal behind it is wrapped up in white victimhood and racist repression.”
Kretz said it’s possible that the Facebook ban came after “trolls got together to remove my work through orchestrated complaints…”
Kretz, Who Studied at the Sorbonne, Has a Resume That Runs 25 Pages
Kretz received her bachelors of fine arts at Binghamton University and her master’s of fine arts at the University of Georgia. She studied at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France and has scores of honors, awards, fellowships, residencies and has been the recipient of arts grants. She has work in “a few important collections,” and been in museum shows across the country and abroad.
She says she’s, “…one of those artists who’s been plugging away in the studio for the past thirty years. Part of the Art World’s middle tier, I am perpetually hovering on the edge of my ‘big break’, but I no longer hold my breath in wait for it,” she wrote on Medium.
“I hope to move up a few more rungs on the art world ladder before I die, but that’s far less important to me than consistently making work I am proud of.”
A Change.org Petition Calling on Facebook to Reinstate Kretz is Gaining Traction
A petition on Change.org demanding that Facebook reinstate Kretz has picked up steam.
— Kate Kretz (@kkretz4art) November 9, 2018
Read about my friend Kate Kretz story and why FB sucks for 1A, and artists. Facebook Bans Artist For Transforming MAGA Hats: – Noteworthy – The Journal Blog https://t.co/Yr2S8FirCj
— theporchgirl (@theporchgirl) May 26, 2019
“Kate Kretz was banned on Facebook for her Artwork using MANGA hats. Facebook decided she was violating community standards with Hate Speech. That is ironic. It is important for Artists who we agree or disagrees with to be able to show their work. Many make their living via social media platforms. Not only is this an issue of artistic freedom but of livelihood. ”