We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaley Weil and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaley, how do you think about risk?
I think of risk as an essential, unavoidable part of life. Every creative person can relate to the risk that it takes to pursue a career in the arts. I had always thought that I would become a lawyer and there was a lot of fear and uncertainty involved in deciding to pursue art professionally.
In grappling with this decision, I came across the following poem, Risk by Anais Nin: and then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
The poem resonated with me. I realized that I had no choice but to become an artist. I’ve come to understand that risks are an inevitable factor in every decision that we make; choosing a different path or remaining on the current one are both equipped with their own unique challenges. With this in mind, I think the best way to approach risk is to embrace uncertainty and to trust yourself. After all, risk is what drives us forward and allows us to become the best version of ourselves.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work explores the complexities of femininity, sexuality and American consumer culture as they relate to the sexualized female form. I explore the tension between objectification and empowerment, challenging the existing power structures that perpetuate the oppression of women by embracing traditionally objectified bodies and granting them novel authority.
Growing up as part of the “social media generation”, I have witnessed the way that women are harassed and criticized online no matter what they do. In response, I began painting modernized female nudes, reflective of the types of images that women often post of themselves online and that have come to define social media. My goal is to recontextualize and reclaim the objectified female form, empowering women and reaffirming the essence of modern feminism: individual choice.
As a feminist artist, I have encountered a lot of misogyny, slut-shaming and overall dismissal of my work. I’ve come to understand that the people who react like this have internalized the idea that women’s bodies should be controlled by men. As a result, they are uncomfortable when women take ownership over their sexuality and their bodies, leading to resentment, dismissal, and even anger. Understanding this has allowed me to develop confidence in my message, my talent and my overall practice.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is such a fun question; I love showing off my city! I would make sure to take them to my favorite restaurants; for brunch, E.P. & L.P., Élephante, and Chateau Marmont and for dinner, Wally’s, Il Pastaio, Catch L.A. and Nobu. During the day, we would go to the beach in Malibu, hike Runyon Canyon and visit The Broad Museum and at night, I would take them to one of the best views overlooking the city on Mulholland drive.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to my parents. I am so grateful to have two incredible role models who inspire me with their kindness, intelligence and love for each other. Knowing that they will always have my back has given me the confidence to pursue my career in the arts. Without their unwavering love and support, I would not be who I am today.