Anna Kincaide’s artistic career can be traced back to two things: a drawing book given to her by her mother and a love affair with Cary Grant.
With a fascination with the human form and an instinct to capture it somehow on paper or canvas, a young Kincaide devoured instructional books gifted by her parents with names like “Basic Drawing,” and “Dynamic Figure Drawing.” With a knack for drawing and whirlwind of possibilities in her head, she admits she found inspiration in an unexpected place.
In college, Kincaide’s artistic pursuits lead to a degree in interior design, which lead to a job at a New York fashion design agency where she spent four years sharpening her craft. It didn’t take long for Kincaide to boomerang back to her true passion: fine art.
Kincaide’s artistic trademark is twofold: one, capturing the timeless, elegant couture feel of the Cary Grant era; and two, cropping the paintings so the subjects’ faces are not visible, which, the artist says, allows the viewer to better identify with each painting. That anonymity coupled with the rising appreciation for vintage couture (Mad Men, anyone?) is creating a buzz about Kincaide’s work that she calls “unprecedented and massively invigorating.”
Over the last year, Anna has been driving her paintings in an innovative new direction that is really beginning to show who she wants to become as an artist. After months of research and experimentation, she has found herself drawn to the age-old idea of portraiture, but with a twist: She is still intrigued by the idea of omitting the eyes in her paintings, something she started in her early work and have continued to carry with her as she evolves. She loves the anonymity this creates for the viewer and the subject alike. People will leave the piece with different ideas and feelings and she likes having that kind of flexibility in her work.
Her strongest inspirations are fashion and design, so she dove into the idea of creating portraits of stylized women disguised by avant-garde, floral-inspired hats. Body language becomes very important in her work because she doesn’t rely on facial expression to convey emotion like most figurative artists do. Instead she relies on gesture, clothing, and color. The new pieces allow her to convey texture, design and abstraction with a freedom she has never known until now. She has fallen in love with the expression, mystery and disguise the hat pieces create. Costume has the ability be empowering and beautiful, allowing us to become someone new.
While still navigating this new direction, she was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study with Milt Kobayashi for two weeks over the Spring. He is an incredible painter and inspiring teacher and mentor. It was a pivotal time for her, and she came back from her workshop hungry to implement all she had learned. She admits this was challenging at first but working with Milt helped her learn to trust her instincts and push her technique and subject-matter further. She is finally finding her stride and the new pieces feel more intricate and full of life than ever.
The nature of fashion is all about change and experimentation and she is thrilled to see where this will take her.