Kim was born May 25, 1959 in St. Louis, Missouri USA to parents Shirley and Donald Camien (Photographer/videographer). Kim comes from a family steeped in the arts. In their teens, her grandmother and her sisters were musicians in Vaudeville. One of those great aunts became first violinist in the Palm Beach, Florida Symphony. Kim's grandfather was a composer/pianist for the St. Louis Symphony (1), and her other grandfather wrote for the newspaper. At age 3, Kim's mother divorced and her father disappeared from her life. She and her siblings were adopted by Alex Weissenborn, vice chairman of the New York cotton exchange (2). At age 5. Kim, a sensitive and shy youngster, found solace in making pencil-sketches of her family at the tender age of 7. When she turned 16, at her mother’s insistence, Kim started private watercolor lessons in the small New Jersey town where they lived. "The art course was a revelation,” Kim says. “ I discovered that I was actually good at something! It was a great confidence booster." Kim lived in New York City in the early 1980's, graduating from Parsons School of Design in 1983 with a degree in fine art. Although Kim wanted to pursue fashion illustration, she was guided into general illustration, because fashion illustration was being replaced with photography. Kim roomed with four other girls in the Village. She experimented with every possible medium but always felt most comfortable with painting. In the 1990's, Weissenborn married and moved to Scottsdale, Az. She opened a public studio in the civic center next to several artists. After 7 years, she and her family moved to Bolivia, South America where she continued to paint. The native people and tropical climate inspired a brighter, more primary palette. Witnessing extreme poverty and living amongst a culture so different from hers, developed a deeper appreciation for America. In 2000, she returned to America with her family. They moved to Vero Beach Florida to be closer to Kim's parents. She began teaching watercolor to adults at the Vero Beach Museum while continuing to exhibit and sell her paintings.
After divorcing in 2014, Weissenborn moved to Paris and there made a commitment to push herself in a more modern direction. Inspired by artists Pierre Bonnard, Edvard Munch, Egon Schiele, Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, Maurice Prendergast, Alice Neal, Peter Doig and the art genre Anime, Kim shifted her focus to oil and acrylic painting. She determined to become more intentional with story, color and abstraction. "With oil and acrylic their is more opportunity for exploration". Her personal history, education in art and illustration, and her love for fashion and travel, all contribute to the story, mood, color, light, texture and depth in her paintings. Weissenborn is able to arouse a fresh appreciation for things mundane or often overlooked. Her painting, "Fixed" is an example of this new direction of story telling, Unaware of our gaze, an elderly couple, together with their twin dogs, sleep soundly. A luxury afforded to them by a life time spent together in routine. Working in both oil and acrylic, allows Kim more options for reworking and discovery. Weissenborn's intent is not political, "Politics tend to divide people. I am interested in portraying humanity in an honest way without filter. Being shy as a child, I learned to read people's expressions and body language. I would write stories in my head about their lives. It was very entertaining. People watching is still one of my favorite activities today." In her painting, "Colored Mirror" there is a feeling of awkwardness or hesitance as a young mother feeds her child. The colors indicate joy, while the mother's erect posture eludes to a lack of comfort or ease. In her painting, "Abstracted:, you see a girl sitting at a café with two men who are engaged in social media. You are amused and at the same time curious at the lack of connection between the three. The dogs, a common theme in her paintings, mirror this separation. Kim explains that these observational insights are the things that inspire her to paint.
Weissenborn has exhibited in one man shows throughout the US, South America and France. Her work is currently on exhibit at the Atelier Grognard Museum in Paris until July 3, 2022. At the age of 62, Weissenborn works every day in her West Paris studio, driven by her desire to push beyond what is comfortable, opening herself up to new possibilities with story and paint.
Currently, Kim resides in Paris, France. Kim hosts Travel Adventures, a moving watercolor workshop where adults travel with Kim and record their experiences in paint. Kim also has a YouTube channel, featuring painting lessons.
Atelier Grognard Museum Paris, France 2022
M.Maison Gallery Vero Beach, FL USA 2020
Legends Gallery Chatham, NJ USA 2019
Christ Church Vero Beach FL USA 2017
Vero Beach Museum USA 2015
Vero Beach Museum USA 2014
Vero Beach Museum USA 2012
Monterey Virginia USA 2002
Martha Lincoln Gallery FL 1999
KIM'S PAINTING STYLE / STATEMENT
Kim Weissenborn is an artist whose paintings captivate the soul with honesty, emotion and often a familiarity. It is precisely her fusion of color, wet into wet paint, expressive brushstrokes, wiping, dripping medium and story telling, that has produced such a rich, expressive and truly powerful body of work. Kim paints her emotional observations of the world around her. She wants to go in a more abstract direction without losing her figures or too much of the story. "I want the moment to feel like a moment,, that if you were to look away from the painting, the image would be gone. I keep searching for the right amount of dark and light, desaturation or saturation, hard and soft, representation and non representation. Sometimes it alludes me. It can take many layers of paint before I find what I am looking for. This struggle creates some unexpected surprises which often deepen the story. I love rendering the figure and the face. Sometimes I finish my figures and have to erase most of what I painted. I want the story to be open for interpretation. I want to linger. Which is why I leave parts of the painting open/undone. As I paint, I live in the painting. I am the characters. Often, I will paint for most of the day without stopping. When it gets dark, I remember to eat. Sometimes, I start with a clear intention and I end up exchanging that intention for another. When I work from photos. I will begin by using many of the things in the photo. only to erase most of what I started with, leaving only one thing or idea. The painting itself has its own idea about where to go. There must be a partnership between me and the painting. If I fight against it, I am doomed. I know I am finished when I look at the painting and it is no longer beckoning me to participate.