"Kaelin exploits the endless potential for attraction and revulsion inherent in the human form and its products. Delighting in the visual pleasure and tactile satisfaction to be found in decay, she acknowledges markers of conventional female beauty only to twist and distress them. Aware of the complexities of difference, she echoes chosen dualities in her paintings: is that mouth a wound? Does blood glitter? Can beauty menace? Might the abject bring joy?" -Simon Anderson; Associate Professor, Art History, Theory, and Criticism at SAIC
I explore personal, allegorical, and critical ideas of femininity and femaleness through a dichotomy of seduction and revulsion, both conceptually and visually. Using a variety of mediums spanning from painting and photography to sculpture and installation to more recent explorations into sound, I desire to produce a highly emotional and visceral response from those who encounter my work. The materials I use range from the decoratively beautiful to the off-putting and grotesque. The obvious handmade quality of my work is of major importance, as is the tactile and sensual nature of the materials I use and the actual experience of making. I want it to be evident to my viewer that I have intimately touched and handled these materials and objects.
Ultimately however, my work is an investigation in desire, fear and transcendence, using the female condition as a starting point, yet striving towards evoking a universally human and melancholic resonance.