Ireland, April 2018:  

            The paintings in this body of work explore the interiors and landscape of Ireland, mostly centered around a few grand houses and castles we visited as we circumnavigated the island.  Ireland has always captured my imagination: a green land full of history, and maybe just a little magic.

            My wife, painter Judy Nimtz, and I began our 6 week painting trip in Dublin.  From there we rented a cottage for a month out on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula in West Cork, near a town called Bantry.  This was a remote corner of the country, wild and beautiful, and we ventured out to paint the landscape and coastline.  In Bantry we visited the Bantry House, an 18th century grand house overlooking Bantry Bay, and I was granted permission to paint on-site.  From those studies and references I was able to work up larger studio paintings evoking the ever-changing atmosphere of West Cork.

            We then circled the island by car, heading up to wild County Sligo, visiting the famed Lissadell House, a place where the poet William Butler Yeats was often a guest.  Further north we visited the rugged Inishowen peninsula (northern-most part of Ireland), then over to Belfast in Northern Ireland.  Lastly, we headed south east to Huntington Castle in County Carlow, home of my friend and painter Harry Durdin Robertson.  There we painted interiors and landscape of the ancient castle, taking in the history and lore of the place. 

            My paintings are about light and space, and I am compelled to create spaces where the viewer is invited in, to create their own narrative.  As such my paintings are almost always devoid of people, but as I write this the emptiness of the interiors strikes me as surreal.  The world in this moment resembles the emptiness of a Surrealist arcade, a De Chirico: a conspicuously empty place.  When I made this body of work, completing it just as the world was changing, I was working in a state of happiness, getting to revisit those places that visually struck me with their beauty and history.  I hope the work will resonate on two levels: as a reflection of our temporary collective experience, but more so as a reminder of the wonderful world we inhabit—the mysterious everyday.


Previous statements:

Interior Worlds,
 March 2018:  
           For this body of work I focused on finding my voice in portraiture.  I have turned my inquiry from the depiction of interior spaces to the interior worlds of my peers in Los Angeles. I have chosen my creative friends, showing them engaged in activities or contemplation, inviting the viewer to participate in their quiet moments. The environments the figures inhabit play a major role in the paintings by supporting the psychological space of the sitter—sometimes the figures even merge with a background or vibrate against it.  I was approaching the portraits with experimentation in mind, exploring the genre in my own voice but without pre-determined methods. The needs of each composition demanded various technical approaches, hence the variety of paint application and scale.  I attempted to create portraits that evoke the human experience through a textured surface which is at once illusion and object. 


Press Release, January, 2017
Kenny Harris’ new paintings evoke the light and mood of architectural spaces from his travels around the world.  He is fascinated with subtle light effects and expressive painterly surfaces, focusing on interiors or cityscapes.  His dynamic paint application describes the way light pours through a space, with scrapes and impasto embodying the texture of the surfaces depicted.  The paint itself becomes plaster and wood, or a glint of light reflecting off a dull surface worn smooth with age. 

The locations chosen for these paintings span the globe from Lisbon to Italy, London, Paris, Havana, and Istanbul. Harris has been traveling and painting for many years, and this body of work reflects the many disparate spaces that capture his eye for light and texture. His wife, fellow painter Judy Nimtz, appears in many of the small paintings—in the act of painting at her easel or in other quiet moments.

For his large compositions Harris chose to focus on Havana, Cuba as his subject.  The colorful emptiness of it’s arcades and interiors evoke a stillness charged with meaning.  The Cuban people are waiting in anticipation for what is to come, and these empty spaces are emblematic of this suspense.  Harris’ paintings are at once both modern and nostalgic.

 

 

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Artist Statement

Ireland, April 2018:  

            The paintings in this body of work explore the interiors and landscape of Ireland, mostly centered around a few grand houses and castles we visited as we circumnavigated the island.  Ireland has always captured my imagination: a green land full of history, and maybe just a little magic.

            My wife, painter Judy Nimtz, and I began our 6 week painting trip in Dublin.  From there we rented a cottage for a month out on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula in West Cork, near a town called Bantry.  This was a remote corner of the country, wild and beautiful, and we ventured out to paint the landscape and coastline.  In Bantry we visited the Bantry House, an 18th century grand house overlooking Bantry Bay, and I was granted permission to paint on-site.  From those studies and references I was able to work up larger studio paintings evoking the ever-changing atmosphere of West Cork.

            We then circled the island by car, heading up to wild County Sligo, visiting the famed Lissadell House, a place where the poet William Butler Yeats was often a guest.  Further north we visited the rugged Inishowen peninsula (northern-most part of Ireland), then over to Belfast in Northern Ireland.  Lastly, we headed south east to Huntington Castle in County Carlow, home of my friend and painter Harry Durdin Robertson.  There we painted interiors and landscape of the ancient castle, taking in the history and lore of the place. 

            My paintings are about light and space, and I am compelled to create spaces where the viewer is invited in, to create their own narrative.  As such my paintings are almost always devoid of people, but as I write this the emptiness of the interiors strikes me as surreal.  The world in this moment resembles the emptiness of a Surrealist arcade, a De Chirico: a conspicuously empty place.  When I made this body of work, completing it just as the world was changing, I was working in a state of happiness, getting to revisit those places that visually struck me with their beauty and history.  I hope the work will resonate on two levels: as a reflection of our temporary collective experience, but more so as a reminder of the wonderful world we inhabit—the mysterious everyday.


Previous statements:

Interior Worlds,
 March 2018:  
           For this body of work I focused on finding my voice in portraiture.  I have turned my inquiry from the depiction of interior spaces to the interior worlds of my peers in Los Angeles. I have chosen my creative friends, showing them engaged in activities or contemplation, inviting the viewer to participate in their quiet moments. The environments the figures inhabit play a major role in the paintings by supporting the psychological space of the sitter—sometimes the figures even merge with a background or vibrate against it.  I was approaching the portraits with experimentation in mind, exploring the genre in my own voice but without pre-determined methods. The needs of each composition demanded various technical approaches, hence the variety of paint application and scale.  I attempted to create portraits that evoke the human experience through a textured surface which is at once illusion and object. 


Press Release, January, 2017
Kenny Harris’ new paintings evoke the light and mood of architectural spaces from his travels around the world.  He is fascinated with subtle light effects and expressive painterly surfaces, focusing on interiors or cityscapes.  His dynamic paint application describes the way light pours through a space, with scrapes and impasto embodying the texture of the surfaces depicted.  The paint itself becomes plaster and wood, or a glint of light reflecting off a dull surface worn smooth with age. 

The locations chosen for these paintings span the globe from Lisbon to Italy, London, Paris, Havana, and Istanbul. Harris has been traveling and painting for many years, and this body of work reflects the many disparate spaces that capture his eye for light and texture. His wife, fellow painter Judy Nimtz, appears in many of the small paintings—in the act of painting at her easel or in other quiet moments.

For his large compositions Harris chose to focus on Havana, Cuba as his subject.  The colorful emptiness of it’s arcades and interiors evoke a stillness charged with meaning.  The Cuban people are waiting in anticipation for what is to come, and these empty spaces are emblematic of this suspense.  Harris’ paintings are at once both modern and nostalgic.

 

 

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