The daughter of an artist mother, Rita Klachkin was destined for a creative life. As a young artist, she recalls the positive feedback she received for her art, how it fed her sensibilities and encouraged her to create more.
Rita attended an arts oriented high school, flourishing in the studies of figure painting, gesture drawing, and intaglio printmaking, all of which are evidenced in her work today. She later graduated from the University of Hartford Connecticut with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Two-Dimensional Design. Her tendencies for expressionism were greatly influenced by German expressionists like George Grosz and Kathe Kollwitz. Contemporary painters such as Wolf Kahn also engage her with his use of color. Searching for something more metaphorical, Rita drifted from the traditional landscapes and en plein air studies that once fulfilled her and she began to lean on the abstract. The challenge of removing the literal spoke to Rita although, in these early stages of inquiry, she did not explore as much of the inner process as she does today. This changed over time and, as she reveals about her work that “a lot of the process is working through the process,” she shifted more toward conceptually based work.
Today, Rita works almost exclusively in a metaphorical language of her own. Her process is a parallel to her interests and curiosities and stems from a variety of abstract ideas related to politics and events such as the California wild fires as well as to more general ideas like the state of the world and human motivations and “what makes people tick.” With a ripe curiosity, Rita finds a natural mode of expression in the process of her art-making which involves layering, additive and subtractive methods, and hidden marks that get buried then uncovered. Rita describes this notion as “uncovering but not invasive, allowing me to explore but in my own timeframe.”
In 2010, Rita made a conscious decision to commit to making art on a consistent basis. Attending an encaustic conference for five years in a row with area artists was a path of inspiration that resulted in a greater continuity in her art-making. She now emerges regularly with new bodies of work, including her current sculptural paintings, a series of 3-dimensional mixed media works.
Rita's artwork is available for purchase and commission and can be viewed online at ritaklachkin.com
" I create abstract, mixed media works using oil paint, encaustic, charcoal, graphite, pastel, found objects, and various drawing materials. I often create monotypes, a form of printmaking involving prints made from a single printable plate or source.
My work is a metaphorical exploration of both concrete and abstract ideas related to the world and to people and what motivates them or “makes them tick” in addition to world events and conditions, and politics. I make preliminary marks on the canvas then work through covering and uncovering them. As I wait for something to dry I start another piece. My process and use of materials are directly connected to the ideas or messages being abstracted. It’s a process of layering and excavating and letting some parts emerge to be seen and results from a combination of additive and subtractive methods with the materials. " - Rita