Thirteen Questions From Organ. The idea is simple, a (hopefully) ongoing series of thirteen questions sent out to people who’s creativity we’re rather admiring and enjoying at the moment – artists, musicians, lion tamers and who knows who – thirteen questions….


Kim Leutwyler –  Start the Riot Oil on Canvas 60″ x 40″ 2015 – “My finalist entry for the 2015 Archibald Prize. The subject is a friend of mine who also happens to be an activist, designer and one of Australia’s top models…Ollie Henderson”.

Kim Leutwyler is a painter who we’ve been admiring for some time, her beautiful use of colour,  her delightfully human pieces, her celebrations of people

“Born in America, Sydney-based Kim Leutwyler migrated to Australia in 2012. She works in a variety of media including painting, installation, ceramics, printmedia and drawing. Kim holds concurrent bachelor degrees in Studio and Art History from Arizona State University, and additionally graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Painting and Drawing degree.

Kim’s current work takes its form in paintings dealing with images of beauty, gender and Queer-identity. She has come to focus on painting as a medium because of its primarily masculine history in the western art canon. By entering into the modernist painting field Kim hopes to destabilize gender borders just as LGBTQ artists have been doing since the 70’s and earlier. Her artwork has been exhibited in multiple galleries throughout the United States and Australia.

Leutwyler’s recent accolades include being selected as a finalist in the 2015 Archibald Prize, 2017 Bluethumb Art Prize, 2016 John Copes Portrait Prize and the 2016 Portia Geach Memorial Award. She also won the Midsumma Visual Arts Guide Cover Competition, and her painting was the hero image for the 2016 LGBTQ Festival in Melbourne, Australia”.


 The thirteen questions

1: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?   I’m Kim Leutwyler (friends call me Kimbo) and I am a visual artist 👨‍🎤 I paint queer identified and allied women.

2: WHERE ARE YOU TODAY?  WHERE ARE YOU MOST DAYS?  Living it up in the land down under! I have been known to travel the world but most days I’m painting in Sydney.

3: WHO OR WHAT IS EXCITING YOU RIGHT NOW?  The tumultuous political climate across the globe is both terrible and exciting to me. It brings out the best and the worst in people, and the peaceful marches happening around the globe give me hope that there’s a rainbow at the end of this cold, dark storm that we are in.

4: WHY DO YOU MAKE ART?  My work toys with the concepts of glorification, objectification and modification, touching on the mutability of identity, gender and beauty. Although I enjoy working in a variety of mediums, I have come to focus on painting because of its primarily masculine history in the western art canon.

Great Scott – Oil and acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 48″, 2015

5: HOW DO YOU WORK?   I like to paint very quickly, which works out well since I also have a full time ‘big kid job’ that takes up a majority of my waking hours. On a painting day I generally wake up like a possessed woman and disappear into my home studio for hours before emerging to have food, coffee and maybe even a beer depending on how long I’ve been in the zone ha ha ha. I work in silence, but sometimes listen to audiobooks or Led Zeppelin. I always takes photos or video as I paint for the purpose of sharing, and I find it useful to go back and learn from later on.

6: TELL US ABOUT THE ART YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?   Robert Rauschenberg. I can’t explain it, but his was the first artwork that made me stop in a crowded museum for 45 minutes and stare. I visually consumed it from every angle and digested it into my brain.

7: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?   I’m aware that many artists can be fiercely self-deprecating, but I enjoy my work. If I don’t like the way it turns out I keep going. If something bothers me years later when my skill has improved I paint over the bit I don’t like and make it better, even if it means repainting the entire piece.

8: WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?  –  I feel limited by the inability to paint anyone and everyone. There are so many people I’d love to paint but haven’t had the time or opportunity to. I’m so lucky to have amazing and patient friends willing to pose for me. I’m hoping to broaden my work to explore women across the globe who display various permutations of androgyny that are influenced by their location, background, culture, age, etc.


The Boo and Baby Sitges – Oil and acrylic on canvas, 48″ x 36″, 2017. “Portrait of my wife holding our dog”.

9:  WHAT HAS BEEN THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE SO FAR?  Oooooo very hard to pick just one! Probably when my wife and I chugged beers while walking down the aisle after saying ‘I do’. Sadly our union isn’t legal but we will get that sorted when Australia gets its act together.

10: WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY?  Inequality

11: WHICH SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?  To have a perfect memory. I can’t remember things further back than a few years unless I have a photo, and even then I only remember the stories I tell myself or that others tell me. I can’t see it in my mind.

12: WHAT COULDN’T YOU DO WITHOUT?  My dog Sitges. If anyone knows of a vampire dog hanging round please do let me know, I want Sitges to live forever.

13:  WHAT IS IT ABOUT  BEAUTY, GENDER and QUEER IDENTITY ANYWAY?  They have the ability to be incredibly fluid, and the world is slowly creeping in a more fluid direction.

And finally any future shows or events coming up that you wish us to tell people about?

Always! But you’ll have to stay tuned via kimleutwyler.com because most of my upcoming shows and projects are under wraps at the moment 😉  Currently you can see my work in the Bluethumb Art Prize at No Vacancy in Melbourne, and in Virtual Connections at No.1 Martin Place in Sydney.

Big thanks Kim.

MORE VIA kimleutwyler.com

Previous  Organ Coverage

ORGAN THING: Start the riot, painter Kim Leutwyler, activist Ollie Henderson and the Archibald Art Prize 2015… It happened something like this, a post came up on a social media feed, Ello if you really must know, a posting from Kim Leutwyler, an artist I came across recently, a painter who’s work I rather like, a “visual artist and lover of life” from Sydney, Australia. The posting that caught an eye came…

ORGAN: On-U drop some Neneh Cherry, more drops are dropped, some painterly colour from Kim Leutwyler, some Tongue Bundle – On-u sounds? Drops? That rather fine Concrete Fictions show at New Art Projects comes to an end this weekend, well worth catching it if you can, there’s some Organ coverage here, really worth seeing the bold bright paintings of Jessie Makinson in the flesh. That Jimmy C show at Lollipop comes to an end this…


G & T (2016)


3 thoughts on “13 QUESTIONS FROM ORGAN: Kim Leutwyler…

  1. Pingback: 13 Questions, an ongoing series of interview with artists who excite… | CULTIVATE... Artists doing it our way

  2. Pingback: ORGAN THING: The best of Frieze then, now the dust has settled, the top Nine things encountered at Frieze 2017… | THE ORGAN

  3. Pingback: Australian painter Kim Leutwyler will be joining us for Self, we really do like the strength of Kim’s work… | CULTIVATE... Artists doing it our way

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