Don Keene

Joined Artfinder: May 2019

Artworks for sale: 70

United States

About Don Keene

 
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  • Biography

    My interest in art has always centered around the human figure, particularly female, and the power in its sexual (or at least sensual) visual aura. Today, however, the relentless speed at which we function impedes our desire for timeless, nurturing activity. The jarring, irregular and unforgiving clamor and rush of everyday demands makes meaningful intimate human interaction frustrating, at best, and too often impossible. I am intrigued by the terrible juxtaposition and strain between these two forces, to nurture and to keep pace. 

    Most of my paintings depict unclothed and under-defined figures (or cropped portions of figures) engaging, attempting to engage, or at least yearning to engage in intimate human contact. The paintings feel frustratingly unfinished, rushed or disjointed by the pace and pull of the typical day. If intimacy is to be obtained, it must be “captured” or share space and time with competing obligations. Even though connections are usually less than satisfying, our need for them is not forgotten. 

    My seemingly capricious titles emphasize this disconnect. They are culled directly from recalled speech fragments or sentiments swirling in my head (and competing for my attention) at the time the corresponding paintings were made.

    Influences, among others, include Max Beckmann, Edvard Munch, Bob Thompson, George McNeil, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Francesco Clemente, R.B. Kitaj and Willem de Kooning.

    As incongruous as it might ostensibly seem, I also find it liberating to strive for the same qualities of expression in portraiture and landscape (or as I term it, genre, to allow for the possible inclusion of water, buildings and people) by focusing there as well on abstraction of shape, form and color. If I can get to the primordial, or the essential, quality of a face or genre scene, I believe I have unleashed a power which is basic to its nature and understanding; and the beauty in this depiction, if attained, will be in concert with that which might accurately be described as the naked truth.

    Influences for these "Genre" paintings include Robert Henri, William Glackens, Edward Hopper, George Bellows and Richard Diebenkorn.

                                                                                                           Don Keene   2019



     

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Biography

My interest in art has always centered around the human figure, particularly female, and the power in its sexual (or at least sensual) visual aura. Today, however, the relentless speed at which we function impedes our desire for timeless, nurturing activity. The jarring, irregular and unforgiving clamor and rush of everyday demands makes meaningful intimate human interaction frustrating, at best, and too often impossible. I am intrigued by the terrible juxtaposition and strain between these two forces, to nurture and to keep pace. 

Most of my paintings depict unclothed and under-defined figures (or cropped portions of figures) engaging, attempting to engage, or at least yearning to engage in intimate human contact. The paintings feel frustratingly unfinished, rushed or disjointed by the pace and pull of the typical day. If intimacy is to be obtained, it must be “captured” or share space and time with competing obligations. Even though connections are usually less than satisfying, our need for them is not forgotten. 

My seemingly capricious titles emphasize this disconnect. They are culled directly from recalled speech fragments or sentiments swirling in my head (and competing for my attention) at the time the corresponding paintings were made.

Influences, among others, include Max Beckmann, Edvard Munch, Bob Thompson, George McNeil, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Francesco Clemente, R.B. Kitaj and Willem de Kooning.

As incongruous as it might ostensibly seem, I also find it liberating to strive for the same qualities of expression in portraiture and landscape (or as I term it, genre, to allow for the possible inclusion of water, buildings and people) by focusing there as well on abstraction of shape, form and color. If I can get to the primordial, or the essential, quality of a face or genre scene, I believe I have unleashed a power which is basic to its nature and understanding; and the beauty in this depiction, if attained, will be in concert with that which might accurately be described as the naked truth.

Influences for these "Genre" paintings include Robert Henri, William Glackens, Edward Hopper, George Bellows and Richard Diebenkorn.

                                                                                                       Don Keene   2019



 

 
 
 
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