Caitlyn Taylor (B. 1999, Sydney Australia) is an emerging Australian artist who creates hyper-realistic depictions of her subjects to capture natural beauty. She works in a variety of mediums, primarily using pencil and oil paint to achieve a high level of detail.
Taylor brings her individual perspective to realism, demonstrating that it is much more than simply replicating what can be seen. She weaves story suggestively and subtlety into her work by intentionally placing unexpected subjects and compositions together. The artists’ creative progression demonstrates a steady upward trend, with each of her exhibitons revealing a new and more nuanced artist adept at both the practical and subjective applicaton of her genre. Taylor’s work has sprawled out from the very real verging toward the surreal with her anatonmical depictions of flora suspended on canvas in ethereal and magical ways, demonstrating a maturation and mastery of artistic inception.
Taylor’s work can be found in collections in Australia and New Zealand. The artist has featured in a range of art prizes including the Clayton Utz Art Prize held by Lethbridge Gallery. She was also the winner of the Inaugural Morris Art Prize in 2018.
INTERVIEW WITH CAITLYN TAYLOR – Written by Monique Di Russo
“They were the first pieces I’d presented to Terri. She gave me some good advice…to make them more unique. In that, there is something about my work that can’t be found anywhere else.” (Caitlyn Taylor)
In writing we call it our ‘writers voice.’ That intangible form your unique style has that cannot be replicated. Like the timbre and intonation of your actual voice, your writing has a tone that is both inherent and shaped by experience. So it is with visual art. Not only does the embodied artist (of any kind) have something the one next to them does not – they know it. They are deeply connected and have a sense of what their something is, and just as importantly they have enough conviction to pursue it. Two things unassuming Caitlyn Taylor has in spades.
I make no secret that I work with Caitlyn at 19 Karen Gallery. She is also a hyperreal artist represented by the gallery. When I found out during a casual exchange in the office that in her down time from painting Caitlyn likes to paint, I had to get to know my colleague’s fanatical-artist-alter-ego better.
At work Caitlyn has a wit and intelligence that is only matched by her diligence. As an artist she is the personification of her work; very real, meticulous, and naturally beautiful. Although she has a clear talent for hyper-realism, it is Caitlyn’s eye, what she chooses to paint and how she perceives it, that has seen her relatively new career evolve so quickly.
If anyone is going to critique Caitlyn’s work, it’s Caitlyn. “The way I look at those works now…I know I could improve on them. Which is critical, but I think it’s important in my practice because I want to be constantly improving – to do the best that I can.” There’s that conviction.
The day before the interview I invite Caitlyn to bring something that is personal to her or connected to her practice. Just like the art the artist creates provides us with a mirror to triangulate our own experiences, I find an object or something indirectly related to their practice provides me with a portal into understanding what makes an artist tick.
Even so, Caitlyn brings in, you guessed it, a painting. A half-finished painting of a young man sitting at a table. Coffee in hand. Sun on face.
On why she chose this painting, she explains, “I was doing something I love, painting someone I love.”
It is a painting of her boyfriend Harry. Caitlyn is fast on her way to mastering realistic still-life work, but she is yet to fully embrace her portraiture practice, and while trepidatious, it is the next ascension in her creative evolution. When I ask why she chose to use Harry as a muse, she looks at the piece and ponders. Immediately, I recognise the unmistakeable comfort of love soften her body. Still, the reasoning Caitlyn gives misaligns with her body language.
“I could have got any old photo off the internet, but I felt I wanted to make a work for myself because I do make a lot of art for others. And I love that. But this is an instance where this one is just for me.”
…May be so. But that is not what I saw. It’s not what I felt sitting next to her that day.
She chose Harry because he has been with her in the trenches throughout the entirety of her artistic career. And when she felt ready to embark upon her next creative challenge, potentially her biggest yet – to paint people – she chose the one person that would bring her comfort during the uncertainty of such an undertaking. She chose Harry. She chose Harry because he is the route to her deeper connection with herself. She chose Harry because he is the something she has that the artist next to her
2023 Evolve Mini Solo Show, 19 Karen Contemporary Gallery, Mermaid Beach
2023 Flower Power Exhibition, 19 Karen Contemporary Gallery, Mermaid Beach
2022 Directors Choice Exhibition, 19 Karen Contemporary Gallery, Mermaid Beach
2021 Metamorphosis Mini Solo Show, 19 Karen Contemporary Gallery, Mermaid Beach
2020 Residency Group Exhibition, Level Up Gallery, Coolangatta
2020 First Notice Group Exhibition, Level Up Gallery, Coolangatta
2019 Threesome International Group Exhibition, 19 Karen Contemporary Gallery, Mermaid Beach
2019 Clayton Utz Art Prize, Lethbridge Gallery
2019 Seascape Art Prize, Burleigh SLSC
2018 Waterside Art space Exhibition, Currumbin RSL, Gold Coast
2018 Marymount Art Show Exhibition, Marymount Collage
2018 Neumann Dust temple Portrait Prize exhibition, Currumbin
2018 Morris Art prize Exhibition, Carrara Markets, Gold Coast
2016 Energies Group Exhibition, Gold Coast City Gallery
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
2021 Workshop for Yr 11 Students, Tambourine Mountain College, Tambourine Mountain
2020 Completed a 2-month Artist Residency, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Mermaid Beach
2020 Completed a 3-Month Residency at Level Up Gallery, Coolangatta
2020 Successful Artbox Design for Gold Coast Art and Culture
2019 Finalist Clayton Utz Award, Lethbridge Gallery
2019 Winner of the Bendigo Bank Tugun Mural Art Competition
2018 Winner of the Inaugural Morris Art Prize