“I begin with a silver photographic image, a kind of evidence. Then I paint on this in many transparent layers of oil paint and pencil. If I am lucky, the media combine and become enmeshed, a curious union of what was real with my own exaggerations and embellishments, so I can show how beautiful it all is—the light, the form, the texture, and color—because I am a sensualist, and this is my deepest pleasure, my lovely addiction.”
Kate Breakey is internationally recognized for large-scale, richly hand-colored photographs, including her acclaimed series of luminous portraits of birds, flowers, animals, and insects. Since 1980, her work has appeared in more than seventy one-person exhibitions and more than fifty group exhibitions in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, China, New Zealand, and France.
Breakey’s work is held in many public collections, including the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
In 2004 , she received the Photographer of the Year Award from the Houston Center for Photography
A native of South Australia who has also lived and worked in Texas, Breakey now resides and photographs in the desert outside Tucson. Her work has been published in three books, Small Deaths: Photographs (2001) Birds/ Flowers (2002) and Painted Light (2010) - the first career retrospective of Breakey’s work encompassing twenty years of prolific image-making.