life is full of reasons …
to keep your eyes shut.
to keep your heart closed.
to live a little smaller + feel a little less.
i’d like to paint you one good reason…
to feel a little more.
i’m kenT, and i’m an artist.
i create one-of-a-kind paintings + images —no two are exactly the same.
some are big. some are small.
some have words. some have none.
each piece is a caffeine-laden, high-intensity sampling of the jarring collision between art and repetitive movement. much like peanut butter + chocolate, gin + tonic (or bacon + anything), i’m inclined to believe that color and chaos are better together.
i’m on a mission to make the walls of for your home, office, secret lair as colorfully composed as you are.
this is the spot when many artists spout about their attempt to find the meaning between artistic scope and how the mind sees color in new and exciting parallax settings.
here is what i will say.
i paint mostly on canvas. sometimes on wood, or building substrates. mostly i use acrylic, but i love spray paint, i have a serious paint marker fetish and if i can sit still long enough i get seriously turned on by the smell of oil paint. i spend an enormous amount of time filtering the message i want you to see in my work – but on the contradictory flip side i want my work to be easy and quickly acceptable to your receptors.
here is a little question and answer session to let you get to know me a little more.
What is your present state of mind?
Art found you and kind of drove you to it in a hugely organic way. Describe this phenomenon.
we found each other. i was bouncing around between interior design, graphic design and art. i always came back to or long to be with art. there is no pretense. no reason to change something to please others. art turns me on.
Tell us about your very first day painting.
laughable. unprepared. intoxicating minus the morning gatorade.
Why is it important to do what you love every day?
have a drink with the guy who hates what he does everyday. that sounds fun huh.
What about fear? Being an artist can have its ups and downs and unpredictability. Tell us about it.
i’m crawl in a ball and hide under the desk afraid every time i show something new. i am my work. its called exposure for a reason.
Describe your creative process. How do you start? How do you know it’s done? how do i start?
i just do. i wake up. get off the couch. show up on time. work my backside off and i surprise people – then do it all over again. how do i know it’s done? i feel it’s exhaustion.
Tell us about your studio/where you create.
small garage + 1200 paintings in 5 years = need for new space… warehouse facility in matthews which contains an office, a gallery and a working studio. rolling working spaces. large walls to stretch canvas. room for 20 people at painting classes. gallery openings. holiday and corporate event parties. grateful.
You have a quote, “I make paintings with no pretense. I just paint what I like. (And I like to feel alive).” Tell us about why this is so important?
small secret… i occasionally paint things i assume will sell well. it seems to pan out like ben fleck as batman. when i put all pretense aside and just let the work flow it is more academy award winning.
Any special details you gravitate towards?
details – no. details are not my thing. circles – yes. i started painting circles about five years ago and they seem to have stuck around. i’m sure someday they will leave me just like pleated pants.
Who did you look up to when you started?
great question. no answer. i had no idea what i was doing or what direction i was headed. not exactly sure when i started to be honest. i think it was and continues to be a blessing that i fumble around like a new dad in the grocery store and try to to follow someone else’s lead.
Your work is absolutely amazing. Talk about your compulsion to fuse poignant words/thoughts in some of your pieces.
much like peanut butter + chocolate, gin + tonic (or bacon + anything), i’m inclined to believe words and art are better, together.
What other art forms captivate you?
short films. and i’m jealous of rock stars.
Last experience that totally blew your mind/when you’ve felt most alive?
californina. winter. surfing. i felt alive but couldn’t feel much else in the cold water.
(outside of art) What else do you do that really makes you feel alive?
5:30 am work outs. nutmegs. coaching kids.
What is your strongest childhood memory?
chutes and ladders, short shorts, tall tube socks, zips, wiffle ball, chores, baseball cards, the backwards seat in the station wagon, grandma’s jello molds, a terrible hair cut, 588-2300 empire, sesame street and sunday night grilled cheese.
What cant you live without?
apparently health care.
Favorite artist / gallery?
jackson pollock. he was the first.
Everyone has these little quirks or unique characteristics about them that help set them apart? What’s yours?
i’m…opinionated to a fault. quick tempered. a check list writer. a u-turn hater. not a general people person. a big picture thinker. a mini van driver. willing to do just about anything for a friend. self sufficient and believe others should be as well. easily prone to tear up at bad children’s movies. a clean and healthy eater. a stomach sleeper. a soccer player. a whale, crocodile, horse & polo player hater. always thinking about what to do next.
You seem to have followed your dream. How do you want to be remembered?
comfortable in my own skin. non -conforming. inspiring. leader. example.
They say our lives flash before our eyes before we die. Aside from family memories, what moment or experience would you want to replay?
all the little moments that surprised me.
What’s in the future?
i have no idea – and that’s the way i like it.
design within reach, charlotte, nc – 2008
gallery pantone 278, charlotte, nc – june 2009
revolution, charlotte, nc january 2010/2012/2015
harding academy, nashville, tn, may 2010 – 2019
epicentre, charlotte, nc september 2010
gallery 5200, nashville, tn december 2010
baku gallery, charlotte, nc february 2011
webb school, knoxville, tn march 2011/2012/2016/2017
tresata launch, charlotte, nc july 2011
nouveau classics, knoxville, tn july 2011
virginia tech university 2013
marriott international, , charlotte, nc, 2016/2017
matthews township, matthews, nc 2016
one of a kind, chicago, il, december 2014 – 2020
art in the park, chicago, il june 2015
red dot, miami december 2019
simple, seaside, florida
gallery pantone, charlotte, nc
origami ink, ashville, nc
julie couch interiors, nashville, tn
g. grace gallery, nashville, tn
trig modern, raleigh, nc
gallerique, chicago, il
perusuas gallery, ny ny + online
percent for art, wi 2006
percent for art, wi 2007
ymca, stevens point, wi
portage county public library
central wisconsin children’s museum
ministry health care, saint michael’s hospital
pacelli high school, stevens point, wi
woodlands church, wisconsin rapids, wi
charlotte athletic club, charlotte, nc
elevation church, charlotte, nc
flores & associates, charlotte, nc
extreme make over home ed., washington d.c.
the kings kitchen, charlotte, nc
bank of america corporate office, charlotte ,nc
braun residence, las vegas, nv
braun racing, charlotte, nc
leroy fox, charlotte, nc
energy cafe, charlotte, nc
coco and the director, charlotte, nc
luna’s , charlotte, nc
stax fitness, charlotte, nc
marriott international, charlotte nc
cowbell, charlotte, nc
tresata, charlotte, nc
grungy gentleman corporate office, ny, ny
no bull project, wynood arts district
stance, san clemente, ca
north point church, atlanta, ga
compass group, charlotte, nc
lululemon, charlotte, nc
camp northend, charlotte, nc
lulu and georgia
school of styling
jaxson rae art
featured in/ seen on
qc exclusive magazine
cloth paper scissors magazine