In the studio with Andy Kehoe…

‘Living In Twilight’, a solo exhibition of new works by Andy Kehoe, opens at Jonathan LeVine Gallery on Sat, May 16th. Kehoe has created a new series of oil and acrylic paintings on wood panel, including some of his largest-scale pieces to date, for his debut New York City solo show.

“Beacon For Wayward Souls”

Kehoe’s allegorical compositions are painted in a low-key palette of rich autumn and earth tones beneath a fine layer of crisp black accents. Many of his characters of the part-man-part-beast variety are portrayed with a strong sense of alienation, finding peace and beauty in solitude to overcome feeling alone. Elemental details like skylight and foliage (or lack thereof, on bare tree branches) represent the passing of time and seasons of change.

Studio shot of things coming together for this May at LeVine…

“Humanity Returns”

Kehoe’s isolated figures are often surrounded by the majestic grandeur of nature (a character in and of itself), which has a powerful influence on the artist and is present throughout his work. The nature theme illustrates perspective on how small and insignificant our problems are in the larger scheme of things, although the artist says that he “completely sympathizes and relates to the heavy toll these problems have on the mind and heart.”

Living In Twilight features Kehoe’s trademark style of imagery inspired by traditional folktales and mythological art with narratives of the fantastic and grotesque. Nostalgic for a time before society’s age of science (or before an individual’s developmental age of reason), Kehoe rekindles a childlike sense of wonder in his work, recalling an era when fables and legends were believed as truths to explain all the mysteries of the unknown.

Even though Kehoe’s world is a magical imaginary one, it is not a perfect fairytale—contrasting forces of nature and human emotions surround primordial themes of life and death—and the fundamental plight of mankind still exists through greed, betrayal, deceit, violence, and self-destruction.

On the title chosen for his show, in the artist’s own words: “Twilight can be seen as the waning moments of decline preceding an eventual end. The sun disappears over the horizon, as the onset of darkness is assured and approaching. The actual moment spent in twilight is an instant when two strong forces hang in the balance and quietly coexist. I wanted to make a world that lives in this delicate harmony, even with the promise of change and resolution lying impatiently on a cusp, ready to break…I continue to build this world piece by piece, creature by creature and story by story.”

“Decay Nurtures Life Anew”
“The Wandering Of The Wicked” on the easel of Andy Kehoe…

“The Wandering Of The Wicked” process shot 1

“The Wandering Of The Wicked” process shot 2

“The Wandering Of The Wicked” process shot 3

“The Wandering Of The Wicked” process shot 4

“The Wandering Of The Wicked” finished piece

“March Of The Exiled”

Andy Kehoe was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and now spends his days painting in his attic in Portland, OR. He grew up reading comics, enjoying the cool costumes and the ridiculous, stylized violence. Now relishing the nostalgia of childhood, he remembers the days of his youth spent watching cartoons, reading storybooks and doodling all day. This childlike sense of wonder is something Andy tries to portray in his work, reflecting a time when magic and monsters existed and all the mysteries of the world were possible. After high school, Andy took a long and expensive tour of art schools and finally ended up at Parsons School of Design in NY, where he studied illustration. After a few illustration stints, Andy began to focus on his personal work—and in the years that followed, his paintings have been shown in galleries across the country.
‘Living In Twilight’ opens Sat, May 16th and will remain on view through June 13th at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City.
For more on Kehoe, watch his site at http://www.andykehoe.net/ and be sure to check out the short ’20 Questions’ feature Juxtapoz just did with him here.
Mark your calendars now for Kehoe’s LA solo show this December with Thinkspace… more on that soon.

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