Kyla Zoe Rafert combines painting and screen painting to create images of women and adolescent girls that “play on feminine and Romantic notions such as the peril of curiosity, the potency of beauty and the inevitable fall of innocence.” Set against vibrant and complex patterns, strange and highly staged narratives play out, exploring feminine archetypes and the roles of women in society historically and today. The patterned spaces are deliberately empty, their geometries beautiful and confining; in the artist’s words, “a visual cage.” Rafert draws heavily on personal experience to construct her narratives, from her own adolescence to her anxieties as a mother raising two daughters in today’s world. Her “adventures in animal husbandry” – the family maintains a five-acre homestead and raises chickens, sheep and sometimes goats – also play a role in her subject matter and speak to the cycles of life and caregiving. Ultimately, she hopes her works will tempt with their beauty while “toying with our compulsion to both deconstruct and idolize the feminine.”
Rafert has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design, a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware in Newark, and a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She has participated in group exhibitions in Ohio and around the U.S. and has held artist residencies with the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), Women’s Studio Workshop (Rosendale, NY), New York Mills Regional Cultural Center (New York Mills, MN), Hoofprint (Chicago, IL), Popps Packing (Hamtramk, MI) and ACRE (rural Wisconsin). She was the cover artist for the spring 2022 edition of Story Magazine and her art has appeared in publications such as Create! Magazine, Dollhouse Magazine, Columbus Alive, 614 Magazine – Interview Edition, PoetsArtists Magazine, American Art Collector, New American Paintings and The Southeast Review.
Rafert lives in Amanda, OH.