<p>

photo by

Photo by John Mcintyre

"Various States 5" painting by artist Jeff King

Mind of the Beholder

King explores ‘Various States’ of beauty in Gallery 72 exhibit

Painting can be a lot of things:  colorful, resilient, meaningful, puzzling at times and extremely personal.  But it is seldom boring. The signs, symbols, images and colors on a flat surface hold our attention and at moments have us at a dazzling balance between our emotions and our reason. 

Discussions can be sparked and open up new perspectives that maybe otherwise go unrealized. Never shying away from conversation, a new show, Various States by Jeff King, at Gallery 72 is all about painting’s complexities and the use of rich colors with non-apologetic brushstrokes. 

King’s new show focuses on beauty or at least the deconstruction of what beauty is.  The images are quite haunting and can cause the viewer to shutter in disbelief.  Beauty is not so much a “thing” as it is an understanding. And King is occupied here with this misconception.

“I chose to paint women. These paintings are a representation of how much I find something attractive in destroying the concept of beauty.”

The grittiness of the show can be misunderstood. There is such deep meaning to the pieces that on closer inspection the viewer can see the beauty within the work.  The small details in the portrait “Various States 1” show how embellishments can add the beauty we all desire. The piece is painted on a light blue background with a gaze that is awash with non-emotion. The difference is the star adornment in her hair.

 “Personality to me is more important than whatever you happen to be contained in,” King said. “I am going to say maybe it’s primarily important to stop thinking about beauty of body, but the beauty of a person’s mind and ways. Seems like a lot of people get lost somewhere in between these things.”

In “Various States 3” the viewer can see how King destroys the common concept of beauty.  Painted on a vividly green background the female figure stares blankly out with a grayish-blue eerie gaze. The inky black hair is receding on her forehead and her dark pink lips are smeared on her face giving her a garish appearance. The viewer can make out the facial features, but there is little detail other than the heavy brush strokes.

“My ideas are based on mistaken things that happened,” he said. “I then try to exploit the same mistake in some way. Also I destroy or deface my art. This is a carrying out of the mistake. I don't think about how to make art...I just make it. My process is a continuous improvisation.”

 In “Various States 5” King’s adds a note of variety as well to his aesthetic as he applies an expressionistically different tone with this piece.  The cobalt blue background interacts well with the female portrait. Her one dark eye follows the viewer while the other eye has been painted over. 

This painting is rich in detail, and its soft brown and coral tones have a calming tone to it. Her hair is shoulder length and rich in various brown shades. Her lips are gorgeous and painted meticulously with a slight smile.

“The structure of the strengths of my work varies by the styles,” King explains, “and my feeling is that the strongest aspect is that I want to work in many styles. I become bored and try to avoid the boredom. “

From one canvas to another, the balance between generously applied paint and female images shifts back and forth. Some are almost inexplicably haunting in darkness while others are an abstraction of what exquisiteness is. 

There is such a juxtaposition in this imagery that it causes us to take a closer look at the true nature of beauty and its importance in our culture today. Various States makes us internalize our own experiences with this. And King expresses this well both in thought and deed.

“With the show in question. ...I'm trying to say that people should shake the foundation of the notion of beauty and stop disregarding the things that they don't understand. 

If art has taught me anything, it is that it is harder to be perfect than to simply be what you are. Paintings are no different.”

Various States continues through May 31, 2014 at Gallery 72, 1806 Vinton Street, 402.496.4747, http://gallery72.com/exhibits.cfm

posted at 11:12 am
on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

COMMENTS

(We're testing Disqus commenting (finally!); please let us know if you have trouble.)

comments powered by Disqus

 

« Previous Page


<p> Street Gambler

Street-influenced artist Fredy Rincon returns to the RNG Gallery with his second show, The Cards You Are Dealt, which continues until November 2. The focus here is on telling personal stories in a...

more »


<p>Roving photograher Rob Walters documents unkown Metro in Driving Omaha at Sweatshop Gallery</p> Drive by Shooting

I spent my first three years here waking to school and work and to parties. I made the decision to get a bike and quickly switched back to the ped lifestyle because Omaha is, as we all know, hillier...

more »


<p>The Fred Simon Gallery features the personal abstraction of Kim Reid Kuhn in her show, ‘The Sacraments of Domesticity’

The thirteen works by Omaha-based artist Kim Reid Kuhn currently on display at the Fred Simon Gallery (a great space tucked within the offices of the Nebraska Arts Council at 1004 Farnam) are...

more »


<p> Loyal Opposition

There is something about a two-person art exhibit that raises certain expectations. That is, aside from quality, interesting, maybe even innovative work from each. And that “thing” is expecting the...

more »


<p>Mirror mosaic installation by artist Ying Zhu in her show, 'Crumbs of Tenderness,' at Lied Gallery at Creighton University</p> ‘Mirror, Mirror’

Exploring the limits of material and reality is nothing new for Omaha installation artist Ying Zhu.  Her art embodies an ambiguous contravention of formal arrangements and interactions intermingled...

more »







Advanced Search