Studio Visits: Lauren Klotzman

A voracious consumer of net culture considers her studio an office

Studio Visits: Lauren Klotzman
Photo by Jana Birchum

Needlepoints, small computer-image printouts, and geometric gouaches fill the small studio belonging to Lauren Klotzman in the back end of Rosewood Collective. Klotzman's signature brand of sardonic, smarty-pants humor is on display at every turn. How to explain the strange, 3-D rendered concatenations of text and image: Michelangelo's magnificent David and "DERP," or Easter Island heads and that ubiquitous signifier of ah-youth stupidity, "YOLO"? A fan of poetry, art history, and Internet memes, Klotzman takes liberally from each, resituating old aesthetics anew.

Lauren Klotzman: Well, I just got back from a road trip through Las Vegas, and I won in Vegas ...

Austin Chronicle: You won in Vegas? How much did you win?

LK: Around $200! [laughs] Net. I'm really good at poker.

AC: See, I'm awful. I have no poker face.

LK: I grew up in a gambling family. Which is maybe why I got into art. For this trip, [my father] gave me money – what felt like a lot of money to go gambling. I spent a good deal of that in a spa in Santa Fe, because I knew I would never have so much time and I wasn't going to do the crazy things he wanted me to do ... but I do love playing poker. I play poker with my grandmother. We should have an artist/art historian gambling session.

AC: Oh, they better be lessons, or you'll just cream me.

LK: Oh yes, they can be lessons! The thing is, I've only played at a real casino table twice, and the first time I got whipped. I wasn't out of my league, per se, but it was the type of thing that the other players had been sitting at the table all day. I do best when the stakes are low. I walked up to the table all bleary-eyed from driving, and one of the people seated at the table said, "You look tired." And I said, "I am tired." "This isn't a game for truth," they said. And I shot back, "How do you know I'm telling the truth? So you can think whatever you want about how tired I am!"

AC: You've got a good crew of people who you share space with: Raymond Uhlir and Kevin Parks Hauser ...

LK: Yeah, part of why I wanted to be in this particular studio space is first, it's climate-controlled [laughs], but I didn't want to be in a space that housed a lot of artists, rather to be around artists whose work I respect. It's sweet that it's attached to a collective of women-owned businesses.

AC: Do you intentionally cover all the surfaces of your studio?

LK: I almost never have blank space in my studio because I usually work on so many things at once. I'm either zoned into painting or zoned into the computer. My former sculpture professor, Jeanine Oleson, told me you have to get out of your computer! Everyone would tell me this, but it took Janine telling me to take the advice seriously.

AC: So what do you do to get out of your laptop?

LK: Well, even if it's just printing something out. It's not about testing color, it's about testing ideas.

AC: How do you think about your studio space?

LK: I think about it more as my office, because it's my place to get on the Internet and make works on paper. I try to come here regularly, and even if I'm just shopping for a couch, that's something! It helps that there's a coffee trailer [Sister Coffee] right outside my studio; I think I'm probably their best customer!

AC: You need a rewards card or something.

LK: I know!

To see more of Lauren Klotzman's work, visit

For more images from our visit to Lauren Klotzman's studio, go to

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Lauren Klotzman, Austin visual art, Raymond Uhlir, Jeanine Oleson, Kevin Parks Hauser

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