Miss Art World
Katherine J Cooksey completed her Bachelors of Fine Arts from California State University, Bakersfield and received her Masters of Fine Art from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
Katherine was diagnosed with an incurable eye disease at the age of ten and has struggled seeing ever since. As Katherine’s vision started to deteriorate her father began to teach her how to paint. Unfortunately, her 8th grade art teacher told her, “You can’t be an artist if you can’t see” which led Katherine to give up art for years. The rejection and prejudices that arose from the academic environment led Katherine to seek out other means of fulfillment; this came in the form of beauty pageants and modeling.
Over the years, she participated in pageants and modeling, winning several titles including Miss Teen Hawaiian Tropic, Miss Bakersfield, first runner up for Miss California International, Miss California Global Nations, Miss Global Nations, Miss New York World and made top 25 at the Miss World America pageant. Success in pageantry proved to be both her salvation as well as a burden.
Using her experiences to inform her art practice, Katherine critiques the unrealistic display of the “perfected” physical form and the pressures to attain it. She is both an insider and outsider of mainstream “beauty” and feels the pull between both worlds. To bring both perspectives together she crowned herself Miss Art World and using the title to question the dominating ideologies of beauty fused with the disturbing and obsessive struggle to obtain it.