Kevin Sloan | Fervent Emblems
March 11 – April 15, 2023
“There’s never a bad time to plot a defense of beauty” - Enrique Martinez Celaya
This work is a continuation of themes and images Kevin has used for many years. However, in these paintings, he has dropped some of the more overt signals and symbols that he previously felt the work needed to confer a sense of "gravitas". This work takes a simpler approach and lets the imagery simply sing forth as it is – a riotous collection of flowers, an agricultural landscape of a plowed field, or a pile of clocks on the ground.
That said, these paintings are not simplistic or shallow. Instead, they take the cliché of a vase of flowers and allow it to explode into an extravagant mess of color. A couple of dice thrown on the ground beneath the floral arrangement invite mystery into the scene. Irrational and exaggerated flowers and fruit distort the expectations of still-life painting. Opulent, oval-framed paintings float dreamlike above tilled fields. The traditionally staid become fervent emblems of beauty.
Each painting has a central, centered image. This compels the image to become an icon or shrine-like emblem of something familiar but becomes a new thing with its own set of rules and opportunities. These icons become sacred, mysterious, or excessive. Perhaps odd or joyous.
The paintings point to that which is often overlooked – the silent, non-human beings we share our world with. These beautiful creatures made of petals, wood, dirt, and clay are honored here. Sometimes this is enough. Our endlessly consequential human-centered issues can wait for another day. Today is a day to defend beauty, in all its humble, magnificent, and unexpected manifestations.