Kat Alyst (she/her) is not your typical emerging artist. With striking and haunting imagery, this artist brings the abstract into living art. Foreboding meets fasciation through her lens, creating a glimpse into the unknown and yet nostalgia never yet experienced. Every frame is paired with a range of color use that’s easy on the eyes, and each layer of meaning meld these painting-esque photos together. It’s here that they have a new point of being beyond what using a camera for applied mediums can be.
Alyst excels in sharing her own “taboo vulnerabilities” with audiences by way of this exceptional debut, “someone is trying to tell you something” [SITTTYS]. Over one year ago, everything we once knew changed to mankind and continues to evolve during these uncertain times. Alyst took to the online world, rather than waiting on an in-person experience, to share her messages via self-portraits of non-fictional events and memories personally affecting her, and transformed into complex and intriguing metaphors. “I believe we need to be here for one another more than ever,” she shares, “and this project took nine months to ‘birth’, and is truly a part of me—from me—to anyone needing to relate to someone who has hidden their struggles behind closed doors, or isn’t sure how to say they are going through a hard time right now. You’re not ‘weird’ for struggling and feeling down on yourself. Life is already hard enough, so why do we say ‘you’re not alone’, and yet generally act like things are ok to each other and online?” If you have chills reading this, you’re not the only one. Her truth speaks volumes, as her artwork speaks for itself.
Her influences have been enthralled by a few of “The Greats” throughout history, such as Man Ray and David LaChapelle she specifically references. Their innovation and production value to her was always been “ahead of their time” she told us, “and they aren’t afraid to be monumental, so it’s like… how can you not admire anyone going above and beyond?” Her technique has been to create sets and props by hand where possible and renting spaces tailored to ideas. “Styling is not my strong point, but every outfit was outsourced to be handmade, or thrifted where possible. I feel like that took so much time in and of itself since that’s a big part of the message I had to get right visually.” You won’t see this artist bragging that she did it completely solo as she uplifts and dotes on those she shares her personal endeavors with. She creates these statement pieces sometimes in solitary, and other moments with the closest people to her. They’re the support system I can fully trust, and I’ve learned that’s so important when trying to not just elevate your work, but any passion.” Her visions start with a random snippet, memory, or phrase, and then are turned into sketches. From there, she includes Easter eggs across visual poetry and the use of color spectrums to intentionally guide feelings through the viewing experience.
“I’m always dreaming. I’m always working. It’s all I do for ‘fun’,” she laughs. “People ask me to hang out, and I literally can’t unless we are making something together or being productive. This show consumed my life so much in the last year, and I was so immersed this whole time, so it will be weird to come out of it… but it’s time.” You can find progress and footsteps documented over the last year of Alyst’s determination and grit seen in multiple press outlets and interviews spanning from V Magazine, Yahoo! News, and more. We are honored to share her with you and add to her message for an outlet for our readers as well, as this message is so raw and vital.
Future plans for SITTTYS are already in motion to be exclusively printed and brought into existence alongside other artists and their work. Alyst prioritizes community and connection that spans across California, Texas and New York. “Community is the heart of everything important near you. No matter where you fit, it’s key to uplift, give back, and participate however you see fit.” We couldn’t agree more and are proud to have this “catalyst” giving back to Los Angeles with her important art. You can currently find a select few for purchase on Artsy through The ShockBoxx Gallery here in California. Kat Alyst encourages you to ask her any questions about her art you may have, share your stories with her, “and most of all, to believe in yourself more than ever”.
Connect with her online by searching @katinthecloudz on social media. For now, visit www.someoneistryingtotellyousomething.com for the official release of “someone is trying to tell you something”.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.