Klea McKenna is a visual artist who also writes and makes films. She is known for her cameraless photography and her innovative use of light-sensitive materials.
Klea McKenna is a visual artist who also writes and makes films. She is known for her cameraless photography and her innovative use of light-sensitive materials. Much of her work uses analog techniques she has invented, such as photographic rubbings and fugitive ink photograms. She is the daughter of renegade ethnobotanists Terence McKenna and Kathleen Harrison, who raised her and her brother in Hawaii, Northern California and on the road. This unconventional upbringing steeped her in magical thinking and a deep awareness of the animate landscape around us. This perspective is evident in her experimental artwork and the way she draws out the histories and patterns within her subjects – both natural and human-made.
McKenna studied art at UCLA, UCSC, and earned an MFA from California College of the Arts. She now lives in San Francisco with her partner and their young children. She is currently working on a monograph of her photographic work, which will be published by Saint Lucy Books in 2022.
McKenna’s work has been shown internationally and is held in numerous museums and public collections, including SFMOMA, LACMA, Getty Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Art Boston, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Peabody Essex Museum, Mead Art Museum, the US Embassy Collection and The Victoria and Albert Museum in London.