Friday, December 21, 2012

Invasive Species: Steven Kenny @ ARTicles Gallery

Steven Kenny, "The Whale"

Steven Kenny is an artist whose work was shown at Salt Creek. He has been reviewed here before [Link]. A lot of his work has involved a human figure and animals or elements of nature, often in a surreal setting, as in the painting depicted at left. With a little girl being carried by a whale while fly-fishing. This work is on display at the show at ARTicles

Many are of women, resembling Victorian era portraits (more on this later). Others allude to alchemy. With the paintings in this show, the artist turns his vision to Saint Petersburg alleys.

Steven Kenny, "St. Petersburg Alley #5" 

The technique in these works is impeccable. At first they appear to be photographs due to their realism, but a closer looks reveals their true nature. The combination of technique and quotidian subject matter makes for a hyperrealist image. The name of the series could be a play on this.

Once the viewer gets used to the fact that this is a painting, look closer. The mastery in the technique lies in its economy. Like a digital image, it is just enough to convey the illusion of realism at proper viewing distance.

Steven Kenny, "St. Petersburg Alley #4"

The closest analogs to these landscapes are the photographs of William Eggleston, Bill Christenberry, Joel Meyerowitz and others. Not in the sense of slavishness to photography or realism, but in relation to the everyday world. The focused attention of the artist brings these scenes to life. Not a life-like state, but to another level of consciousness.

Steven Kenny, "Forest Queen #3"

There are other works by Steven Kenny in this show, including several small, stunning paintings of women with natural motifs. Look carefully at the crown in "Forest Queen #3".

Works by Steven Kenny

 Congratulations to Steven Kenny, Leslie Curran and ARTicles gallery for a very good show.

--- Luis

 Invasive Species: Steven Kenny @ ARTicles - Free admission. 1445 Central Ave. St Pete. Through January 2nd.

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