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A Caffeinated Conversation with Seattle Artist Duo KeseyPollock

Inside two of Seattle’s most creative minds.

SEATTLE—Seattle’s coffee shops are legend. From the grungy haunts depicted in the 90s slacker classic Singles to the world domination of Starbucks, roasted beans have long dominated the scene in the Emerald City. Steph Kese and Erin Pollock of Seattle-based artist duo KeseyPollock noticed that coffee shop culture had accelerated in recent years, owing partly to the fact that the tech industry had priced many younger artists out of real estate normally used for studios and creative offices.

In fact, KeseyPollock—who earned renown for sculpting lifelike wax-and-Crisco people that they would scorch in their studio to create fantastical videos and photographs of dripping, melting humans—recently had to give up their own workshop in the rapidly developing International District. “That building is becoming high-end condos, so we don’t have a studio right now,” Kese says, “which is crazy because we’ve been working on these gigantic sculptural pieces for many years now. To find ourselves in this position was heartbreaking for half a second, and then it was completely liberating. We started meeting in coffee shops, and reevaluating our work, and what are the things in our work that aren’t necessarily medium-based.”

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