Kristen Morgin works in cermaic, a traditional, timeworn medium, but she engages the material in unusual and unexpected ways. Many of Morgin’s works are made from unfired clay, depriving them of the shiny gloss of glaze that one expects to see on such pieces. Treating this raw clay as a support for compositions in paint, pencil, and ink, Morgin crafts collaged works using nostalgic references to Americana. Particularly indicative of 1960s Californian pop culture, these influences include Disney characters, comic books, cars, bicycles, and board games. Morgin's resulting artworks have a physical density that complicates their paper-like appearance, questioning the expansive material avenues of the contemporary artist and playfully provoking the viewer’s expectations of a given medium through trompe l'oeil fabrication.
Morgin has had solo shows at the Lamar Doff School of Art Gallery in Athens, Georgia as well as at San Francisco’s Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art and at the Cuesta College Art Gallery in San Luis Obispo, California. Morgin, who lives and works in Los Angeles, was the 2005 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Award.