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    This originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, click hereTo find us on newsstandsclick here

    Illustration by Kendall Regan

    Clifton resident Kevin Warth, 25, works in visitor services at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and as an artist. As part of the Louisville Photo Biennial, Warth’s exhibition “home sweet home” (Oct. 6-27 at Garner Narrative in NuLu) explores his relationship with domesticity and identity. “By photographing bondage gear in otherwise ordinary scenes, I ask viewers to question the way they see the American household and the values attached to it,” he says.


    Describe the space you’re in right now.

    “In my studio at the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center. It’s a spectacular space — bright white walls, an overlook of the facilities, and a couch for when it’s time to take a break.”

    Earliest childhood memory?

    “Head-butting my father when I was a toddler. We still argue to this day, but thankfully in a less violent manner.”

    When/where are you most creative?

    “I feel most energized when I’m around other creative people. I’ll meet up with artist friends from time to time to discuss our work, and I always want to run back to the studio afterward.”

    When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

    “A medical examiner because anatomy fascinated me. Now I explore the body, in a very different way, through my artwork.”

    The most unusual benefit of your job?

    “I’m privy to the behind-the-scenes happenings of an art museum. Have you ever tried to unpack a 10-by-8-foot piece of art? It’s something else.”

    Besides your current job, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?

    “Since I was 14 I’ve volunteered at ‘Literally, a Haunted House’ at the Culbertson Mansion in New Albany as an actor, set designer and promotional photographer.”

    What are you wearing right now?

    “A distressed T-shirt from H&M, black jeans and a good amount of paint on my hands.”

    What’s on your credit-card statement?

    “I’m gearing up for my exhibition, so my credit card has seen a lot of related purchases: frames, matboard, prints. And some fun items for installations — come see my show for full disclosure.”

    Best book you’ve read over the past year? 

    Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity by José Esteban Muñoz struck so many chords with me. Recognizing the current conditions queer individuals must grapple with, he argues that temporal ruptures — particularly those that are forward-looking — can become a powerful force for change.”

    Do you have a secret talent?

    “I have a paternal instinct when it comes to carnivorous plants. Currently, I have three healthy children on my windowsill: two sundews and a tropical pitcher plant.”

    Favorite movie scene?

    “I get chills every time I watch the anime film Princess Mononoke and Lady Eboshi says, ‘Now watch closely, everyone. I’m going to show you how to kill a god.’”

    Have any tattoos?

    “A stylized lion on my left shoulder and an anatomical diagram of facial musculature that morphs into tree branches on my right shoulder.”

    What brings you the greatest joy?

    “Seeing my artwork fully realized and on the wall. Or a really good meal.”

    Fill in the blank: “_______ Louisville” should be the next banner on the side of a building.

    “Sorta metropolitan, sorta Southern, definitely awesome.”

    If Actors Theatre staged a production about your life, what would the performance be called?

    Here, Queer, but Not Without a Beer.”

    What’s something unexpected you love in Louisville?

    “Our hole-in-the-wall restaurants! Barbara Lee’s Kitchen — rest in peace — was my favorite place to get some greasy breakfast food at 2 a.m.”

    What’s something nobody knows about you?

    “I played violin for 10 years but quit after high school. A few years ago, I picked it back up to flirt with a dude.”

    What do you collect?

    “I have a series of paintings that utilize bodily discards such as hair and nail clippings, so I keep those in baggies throughout my apartment. They’ve led to a few uncomfortable moments with guests when I’ve accidentally left them out.”

    What three people (living or dead) would be on the guest list to your ideal dinner party?

    “I actually prefer to talk about what would be my most nightmarish dinner party: Ayn Rand, James Franco and purveyor of decorative nonsense Thomas Kinkade. For me, Kinkade illustrates the central issue with Louisville’s art scene: too much time and space given to frivolity. Horse paintings eclipse so many great artists in this city.”

    What would you do if you won the lottery?

    “Open my own contemporary art gallery.”

    If you could write it yourself, what would your headstone say?

    “Rebirth always follows death.”


    What song’s been stuck in your head lately?
    “‘Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac.”

    What Louisville dish have you eaten more than any other?
    “Either lamb curry at Kashmir or the wild boar burger at Game.”

    Can’t-miss TV show?
    “I’m deeply invested in Westworld at the moment.”

    Your least favorite word?

    What word do you overuse? 

    One thing Louisville is missing?
    “Reliable public transportation.”

    First thing on your bucket list?
    “Travel to Berlin.”

    Most noticeable quirk?
    “I have a very expressive face.”

    To learn more about Warth and his work, visit his website

    This originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstandsclick here. 

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