“Ascendency” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas by Kevin Beaudin 10″x31″ $1,400
My work is a symbiosis of two deep and constant fascinations; the love of nature’s infinite anatomy, and our compulsion to infuse nature with our own sentiments and ethics through folklore, science, myth, and religion. I draw, paint, sculpt, and avail myself of a wide range of styles and materials to satisfy these explorations.
For the past several years my work falls into a few distinct categories. Sometimes, for example, I contrive vignettes inspired by natural history illustrators such as John James Audubon that depict conflicted relationships between various creatures. There is ordinarily a pronounced difference between them, larval gooeyness or a hard predatory exoskeleton, and at least one of these characters will be gazing outward thereby involving the viewer in a moral challenge that does not belong to them. This work will occasionally push further still into narrative and fiddle with the boundaries between visual work, storytelling and theater.
In some of my newer paintings, I envision environments and animals entirely indifferent to our gaze. This work reflects upon the world without human narrative, or perhaps a world of only our most ancient understandings. This work tends to be as much about the medium as the message, investigating the interplay of control and chance, the incidental and the intentional.
In other instances my work does not concern the viewer at all. Sometimes it is just about the thrill and joy of understanding the logic and sense of natural forms that comes from faithfully rendering images of them or some interpretation of their vitality. Throughout my life my artistic inquiry has been supported by and united with research and study of natural history, anatomy and biology.
Central to all of this is a determination to harmonize my painting and sculpture and to find a voice within whatever media or style I choose to work in that unifies substance and surface. A number of my paintings are paired with sculptures or framed with sculptural elements that have a relationship with the graphic work, but also make reference to past periods of decorative art and the use of natural forms in decorative pattern.
Throughout my work is the persistent need to to depict the habits and gestures of the homely and heroic creatures that surround us in a manner that reveals our integral relationship with them, reconnecting to a sense of shared environment. I am inspired and awed by the infinite strategies that nature employs to both reproduce itself and push into every possible niche, and the incredible unimaginable shapes it assumes to accomplish these goals.
The soft underbelly of a tadpole is observed from below as it rises through lily pads. The painting is rendered in oil and acrylic paints, sometimes thickened with marble dust, thinned with solvents in some places, sanded or scratched away elsewhere.
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