Artist Kasey Cargill discusses her fingernail artwork show

All this week, Oct. 20-24, the artwork of Kasey Cargill will be featured in the SOFA Gallery. Although the pieces line the walls, they are easy to miss.

Cargill has steered clear of conventionality and created a series of work that’s done entirely on fake fingernails. Attendees are handed magnifying glasses at the door, helping visitors to better see the tiny pieces.

The Houstonian: How did you come up with the idea for the Thumbnail Gallery?

Kasey Cargill: I came up with the idea when I went across the street to get a pedicure, and I paid extra to get a little flower put on my toe. I thought that it would be interesting to put masterpieces on nails.

TH: How did you choose which pieces to duplicate?

KC: I really wanted to use pieces that were well-known and familiar to people, just in case I couldn’t recreate it exactly someone could stillknow what it was.

TH: How long did it take?

KC: Some took 45 minutes. Some took a few hours. It really just depended on the picture I was doing, and the mood I was in.

TH: Describe your gallery to someone that’s never seen it before.

KC: My friend Sarah said it best, art by the masters in a way you’ve never seen them before. Acrylic on acrylic.

TH: Who are your biggest influences?

KC: My biggest influences are my professors. It may sound cliche, but they are the ones that encourage my ideas and give me good criticism. Without them I wouldn’t be the artist I am today and I am very grateful for that.

TH: Would you ever consider doing this professionally? Like a ‘nail dresser of the stars’ or something?

KC: Absolutely! I could charge an insane amount of money for them, get to meet all the stars, and maybe even become a star myself.

TH: Are you done w/ this project? Or do you see more small art in your future?

KC: I don’t think I’m quite done with this project. I still have a lot more paintings and sculptures I would love to try and recreate, but as of right now I think I’ll need a break from my tiny works to focus on graduation in December. My dream though is to show my collection in a real museum like the MFA or the Contemporary Arts.

TH: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

KC: I would love to be teaching as an art professor, with hopefully some time to spare to keep up with my own artwork. I would also love to own a studio downtown and to sell my works for lots of money!

The gallery opening will be hosted in Art Building C on Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.

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