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Cut & Paste: For Kat Reynolds, photography is about creating trust and being ‘super-present’

Kat Reynolds is pictured in a file photo of a self-portrait shown recently at The Militzer Art Gallery in St. Louis.
Provided | Kat Reynolds
Kat Reynolds is pictured in a self-portrait shown recently at The Militzer Art Gallery in St. Louis.

Photographer Kat Reynolds is having a moment.

In the past few months, Reynolds has exhibited at five St. Louis venues. She was named this year’s Emerging Artistby the local Visionary Awards, a prize she’ll accept April 24 at the Sun Theater in Grand Center. She’s also wrapping up a residency program at Paul Artspace, north of Florissant. Her work primarily features young people of color, friends, people she encounters on the street, or people she finds through social media.

Reynolds works all these activities around a full-time customer relations job. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we catch up with this busy artist, who strives to genuinely connect with her subjects.

Here’s some of what Reynolds tells us in the podcast:

  • On making her photography subjects comfortable: “Whenever we’re working together, I’m super-present. And I think also something that they realize, is that, ‘I’m really here for you.’”
  • About white artist Dana Schutz and her abstract painting of Emmett Tillin his casket: “Showcasing black death is an issue. It’s triggering. It’s traumatizing. ... If you’re making art and you’re thinking it’s ‘just art,’ then you should stop. And especially if you are utilizing a body that is not your own.”
  • On the evolution of a photo shoot: “Towards the end is usually where the good stuff is.”
Cut & Paste

Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcastsevery few weeks on our website. You can also view all previous podcasts focusing on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link.

The podcast is sponsored by SPACE Architecture + Design.

Follow Willis and Nancy on Twitter: @WillisRArnoldand @NancyFowlerSTL

Please help St. Louis Public Radio find artists to feature on Cut & Paste. Tell us which artists and cultural themes deserve a closer look.

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.