Katharina Stenbeck is a multidisciplinary artist from Sweden to New York, then LA, and currently living in Ojai, California. I recently got to visit her and her boyfriend’s mid-century, ranch style home that they remodeled. We talked to her about art, music, Scandinavian design, her kitty, and her new studio space!
Katharina launched her performance art and music project, Galleriet, in the Spring of 2017. Her one-woman shows are not to be missed! Follow her to get the latest schedule.
Also, see her original paintings, Stigmata 1 & 2, in our current art show, “I Am Extraordinary”, curated by Bored Inc. which runs through Feb. 25, 2018.
Katharina in her creative space, her studio!
Stigmata 1 & 2 for I Am Extraordinary art show
What is the biggest inspiration for your art?
I can draw inspiration from many different sources depending on the project I’m working on. While I was exploring what I wanted Galleriet to look and feel like in a live setting, I drew inspiration from a lot of my favorite female artists and performers like Laurie Anderson, Marina Abramović, Ana Mendieta and Sylvia Palacios Whitman. I wanted to marry performance art with electronic music in a way that would still feel accessible, while placing the music in a gallery setting. In finding inspiration for the music itself, I found myself gravitating to a lot of electronic bands from the 80’s with strong lead singers, like Depeche Mode and Eurythmics. As far as more contemporary influences go, The Knife made a big impression on me when I first encountered their music as a teenager.
In regards to my paintings, I often draw inspiration from folk art and I enjoy incorporating lore and symbolism into my work. I’ve been playing around with a rather illustrative style of painting for the past few years.
The couple's music room is a space for inspiration and relaxing
What media is your favorite to work on?
Lately, I’ve been enjoying painting on wood as opposed to canvas. Something about the absolute flatness of a sanded wood surface, as well as the look of the grain, is really appealing to me right now. I often work in acrylic paint as it dries fast, which suits my current process well.
As far as music goes, when I’m composing for Galleriet, I work in Logic. If I’m working on a music video, I like to edit in Adobe Premiere. For graphic design, I can’t be without my Adobe Photoshop.
Katharina choreographs and creates all of the props for her Galleriet videos
What made you decide to settle in Ojai?
Initially, it was because we couldn’t find something within our price range in LA that also had the space that we wanted. I have a proper studio space in the garage now and my boyfriend has a separate office, which we wouldn’t have been able to make work the same way in LA. For a small town, we also found that Ojai has a lot to offer besides the beautiful nature. A lot of people are moving up here from LA and elsewhere, opening new restaurants, running pop-up events, hosting art happenings and such. It’s a pretty metropolitan small town in that way. It’s also not a far drive down to LA, so you get the mellow vibe of living in the country without feeling too disconnected.
Jay Rondot + Katharina Stenbeck, enjoying a creative and zen life style just outside of Los Angeles
What inspired you for the design of your home?
Most people who come visit say that it feels distinctly Swedish and I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Swedes are pretty known for painting all the walls white, but then not shying away from bright pops of color in other aspects of the décor. I like the home to feel playful and inviting, but thoughtfully curated and not cluttered. I also have a soft spot for mid-century furniture and design.
Clean and Modern design with kitsch! All of the design was done by Katharina.
Can you give me your top 5 places to visit in Ojai?
Bart’s Books, an outdoor bookstore well worth a visit.
Beacon Coffee, for their chai latte with almond milk.
Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, for a beautiful view and ongoing art exhibits.
Revel, for their açai bowls and self-brewed kombucha.
Chief’s Peak at the Ojai Rancho Inn, for good drinks and a nice vibe.
Cute little nook in their kitchen
What are you currently working on?
I’ll be performing with Galleriet in Sweden for the first time on March 29, at Teater Giljotin in Stockholm. I’m really looking forward to it since it’s my hometown debut. I’m creating a new performance specifically for that night, so I’m in the process of putting that together right now.
For more on Katharina, be sure to visit her websites and follow her!
www.gallerietmusic.com | @gallerietmusic
www.katharinastenbeck.com | @artofkahs
Their beloved kitty, Sully!