Her images, originating in diverse locations including Iceland, New England, Alaska and Southern California, reveal an artistic practice that is deeply personal, yet universal, oscillating between anxiety and yearning for a better world. Kaur’s haunting, signature use of light betrays unexpressed desires lurking behind her subjects’ ruminative gazes, while the eerily perfect settings feel inhabited by a silent spirit. Her pictures present psychologically charged places and individuals whose emotional states teeter between despair and redemption. Other photographs remind us of a long forgotten secret confided to a friend.
Kaur’s photographs represent her stand against the relentless march of time, and an embrace of life’s beautiful and inescapably painful unfolding. Her images engage the Western canon—from the Baroque to photorealist painting, from German Romanticism to contemporary portraiture. Inspired by mysticism, spirituality, and the occult, Kaur weaves visual echoes from her past to create an evocative, dreamy universe uniquely her own in both its formal qualities and narrative themes.
Siri Kaur was born in 1976 in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007. She also earned a MA in Italian Studies (2001) and a BA in Comparative Literature (1998) from Smith College. Kaur was the recipient of the Portland Museum of Art Biennial Purchase Prize (2011) and has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions and at the Torrance Museum of Art, the California Institute of Technology, the UCLA Wight Biennial, USC’s 3001 Gallery.