Cate White

Region: Pacific Coast


City / State: Oakland, CA

Having spent my formative years in the backwoods culture of guns, 4x4s, and meth in Northern California, I find familiar comfort on societal and psychic margins. The span of my intimate relationships across many social groups has made clear to me the inadequacy of discourses that remain confined to any one demographic. I am interested in how underrepresented perspectives made visible complicate established narratives around fundamental themes: gender, race, class, beauty, power, value, and morality.

I use the democratic language of emotion, the figure, narrative, comedy, and self-exposure to handle a range of subjects: existential reckoning, emotional outbursts, art-historical revisions, satires of media ideals, personal narratives, portraits of friends and of archetypal characters.

My painting process combines premeditation and improvisation so I can communicate what I’ve come to know while allowing for my perceptions to be altered by chance, mystery, and unconscious knowledge. I trust in the act of painting and the public conversations that arise in response to it, to illuminate the invisible forces at work—both inner and outer—that construct identity and culture.