Maker Monday: Austin Kerr

Visionary painter Austin Kerr, who lives and creates in Miami, is inspired by the concept of aging nature and structures. His original paintings evoke a sense of organic growth and flow. Setting him apart from almost all other painters out there, Kerr wants his paintings to be touched, and in a deeper sense, felt. He believes that physical contact with the strokes he’s made are a way for viewers to create a stronger connection with the art. His interactive pieces have been commissioned for showhouses, Philadelphia residences and promotional materials, and bring a feeling of playful, simplistic formation to any project. Get to know the abstract artist, and get inspired by some of his works, in this week’s Maker Monday!

Imperfectly beautiful, like nature, Kerr’s painting makes a fitting addition to this natural vignette.

Andrew Joseph: Dream country to work in? Or dream project to take on.
Austin Kerr: Somewhere in Italy or France and the project would be led by Pierre Yovanovitch who really honors the artists he works with. Ideally something that would take a month or two at a place on the water or in the mountains.

Andrew: What are three things you can’t live without?
Austin: Besides my Wife… my iphone, passport and my spirituality.

Andrew: Most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
Austin: My first Euro trip. I went solo backpacking through 13 countries, 25 cities from as far NW as Oslo to SE as Santorini. I was so full of inspiration afterwards, I now make it a point to do a trio for 4-6 weeks every year. Rome, Prague and Mallorca are my favorites.

Andrew: Best way to take a rest/decompress?
Austin: One thing I love about my work is painting. And being creative is a form of meditation to me. When it’s late at night, and I have no obligations to distract me or no clients are calling or emailing me, I’m free to be with my art and myself. I’ve discovered so many things about myself and life while pushing paint.

A minimal designer’s dream find, this diptych is a bold, bright addition to an unornamented modern interior.

Andrew: Favorite city to recharge?
Austin: Long walks in any European city with cobblestone streets, worn-out stucco walls and good food. In the States, I would say Abiquiu, NM. There is the most remote monastery in this hemisphere I got to for a week at a time. With a 45 min long dirt driveway tucked away in the canyons, it’s the quietest place you’ll ever go and, to boot, George Nakashima designed all the chapel and housing!

Andrew: Best gift you’ve ever given?
Austin: My fiancé — at one time in our relationship, Rebeca hadn’t seen her mom in over 2 years and when her mother was finally able to leave Venezuela and move to Spain, I bought her a ticket with a 2-day layover in Miami to surprise Rebeca. It was epic!

Andrew: Who is your ideal client?
Austin: There is nothing better than a good designer client who knows what they’re doing yet gives the artist room to be creative. Piero Lissoni commissioned me to do 163 pieces of original art for AKA University City in 30 different styles, but because of the freedom I ended up delivering 80 styles. This experience vastly improved my technique and I became more open to more fluid styles.

About The Maker |  A native of Arlington, Texas, Austin Kerr became a part of his family’s furniture manufacturing business at the young age of 6. His early involvement eventually enabled him to acquire the skills and techniques which later inspired him to specialize in a wide variety of finishes, with a particular interest in antique reproduction.

After moving to Miami, Kerr launched his own company in 2009. The minimalist market of South Florida coupled with Kerr’s extensive research trips throughout Europe inspired him to explore an entirely new range of contemporary high-end finishes which he eventually transformed into art.

Kerr lives in Miami Beach, FL with his wife Rebeca and their rescue dog Peanut.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.