Artist Statement

Although my major at Pratt was painting, I gravitated toward industrial design and invention. Interest in these other, more technical disciplines, was not surprising, because of the influence of my father, Jacob Kainen, who also graduated Pratt Institute in 1930. A solid painter and print maker,  he was involved in the vibrant New York art scene in the 1930's,  working on the WPA with Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, and Stuart Davis, among others. He moved to Washington DC in the early 40’s, pioneering the art scene there (there wasn't one at that time), but also became the Curator of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian, and so had a technical background as well, instilling in me a love of how mechanical processes could be at the service of aesthetic creation. From him I learned that there was something I would call “aesthetic technology”, whether it be printing techniques, the dynamics of an artistic composition, or the color-relationships within it. These constants within the otherwise intangible world of creativity made it not so intangible after all. I also learned, first and foremost, that the intangible, instinctive response is the most important.