Kevin King’s paintings mirror his fascination with various life forms and objects. He is a collector, who seeks earthly conundrums, be it in the shape of a dried poppy capsule, an insect’s metallic armor or an exotic bird. In his work, he frames these collectibles as what they are: glimpses of the sublime. By rendering them in oil on copper, King pays homage to his subjects and provides them with new life and longevity. Over the years, he has assembled a vast collection of found and gifted objects that are stored in his studio. Butterflies with spread wings, tree branches, seeds and beetles, for example, are carefully kept in boxes, waiting to be re-discovered in and even re-invented through painting. King pulls from this “archive” to create otherworldly compositions, in which creatures and plant life are fused together in harmony. His compositions are complex and show an incredible devotion to detail and nuance.
While his language is representation, his paintings are not representative of reality. He combines and alters his subjects according to his aesthetic and compositional concerns instead of simply illustrating what is before him. Meanwhile, his work exhibits an astonishing skillfulness in recognizing even minute characteristics that make up the extraordinary texture of nature. King’s paintings are products of his free-flowing meditation on the objects he has selected for each specific work. To him, painting is a form of contemplation and a transformative agent. Through painting, his subjects receive symbolic meaning as each reflects the magic of creation.