Molly Larkey ’90 had intended to be a writer. Born in Los Angeles, she moved to rural Idaho with her mother and brother when she was five. In that solitary environment, she entertained herself by reading, finding solace and company in books and her imagination, and ultimately discovering a passion for literature and philosophy.
Molly moved with her father to Ketchum in 1987, joining Community School in 1988. She attended Columbia University with the intention of studying journalism and fiction writing, but while studying abroad her junior year, she fell in love with visual art, and a life’s path was chosen.
Said Molly, “Once I realized I could make art using things from everyday life-paint, different kinds of materials, even things I found on the street-I realized that was what I wanted to do, and I shifted my attention from writing to visual art.”
Molly stayed in the New York area for fifteen years after graduating from Columbia, earning her M.F.A. from Rutgers University in visual art in 2000. Drawn to California’s lifestyle, she moved to Los Angeles six years ago, where she continues to make and show her art.
“Being an active participant in both the art and gay communities is really fundamental to why I make art,” Molly said. “Because of this, I curate shows of other artists and write about artists or exhibitions that I think deserve more awareness.”
Molly’s art has received critical acclaim from the New York Times and the LA Weekly, among others, and has been featured in numerous galleries including PS1 MOMA, the Drawing Center in New York, and the Saatchi Gallery in London. She is currently represented by the Luis de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles and locally by Ketchum’s OCHI Gallery. Although she has used a variety of materials over the years, her most recent work is made of steel, which she welds and sometimes combines with linen, which is wrapped around the metal and then painted.
“I’m interested in the way that a three-dimensional line can transform as you move around it, which speaks to the ways that meaning can shift as your perspective shifts,” she explained. “Even though my work is abstract, I often work with visual forms of language, so my interest in writing is still present in that way.”
Trusting herself to move forward with her passion and her individuality is something Molly credits to her years at Community School. “I’ve made a lot of unconventional choices. I think Community School helped me by placing an emphasis on staying true to myself no matter where my path led.”
Molly Larkey ’90: mollylarkey.com
This profile was originally published in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of CS Magazine.