20 Questions to Steven Kenny (www.stevenkenny.com)
1: Who are you?
A 52-year old boy who is slowly, methodically maturing into a man.
2: What is your background?
Grew up in a middle-class family with three older brothers. Attended Catholic school from kindergarten through eighth grade. Graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. From there I went on to be a freelance illustrator for 13 years before shifting entirely to fine art.
3: Where were you born?
Peekskill, New York in the Hudson Valley. Ironically, I was completely unaware of the Hudson River School of painters until I went away to art school.
4: Explain your work in up to 40 words.
My style is often reminiscent of the Old Masters but my subject matter is a contemporary commentary on what it means to be human.
5: How has your practice changed over time?
Much more intuitive now. I’ve grown to trust my instincts and rely less on planning each composition. I give my unconscious free reign (almost).
6: Do you have a favourite medium to work in?
Oil on canvas, linen or panel.
7: Do you pursue any themes? If so what?
The blending of the human figure with elements from nature allows me to comment on our unseen internal psychological, emotional and intellectual landscapes.
8: What other jobs have you done/do you do other than being an artist?
Waiter, dishwasher, sales executive, gallery director, golf course pro shop attendant.
9: What research do you do for your art?
Research would involve planning and, like I said above, I try to avoid planning too much. It makes my work stiff. I prefer a more indirect type of research which includes studying art history, psychology, a little philosophy, etc.
10: What makes you angry?
Narrow-minded critics who ridicule art that they don’t understand.
11: What is your favourite colour?
12: What is your favourite piece that you have produced?
A self portrait as Satan painted when I was very angry. It is probably the most honest painting I’ve ever done.
13: What music/album are you currently listening to?
I think the last CD I listened to was Thick As A Brick by Jethro Tull.
14: What makes you happy?
Looking at my wife’s smiling face.
15: What are your favourite films?
I love anything by Ingmar Bergman and Werner Herzog. Guilty pleasures include watching the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.
16: Favourite place?
Here in St Petersburg, Florida. But you can take me back to Paris or Rome at any time and I won’t complain.
17: One or more artists you like?
So Many!!! Peter Doig, Rembrandt, Tracey Emin, Gustav Moreau, Redon, Koons, William Blake, etc, etc.
18: What is your favourite word?
19: Professionally what is your goal?
To be free to create my work and live comfortably from the sales. No desire for fame or riches.
20: What would your dream commission be?
A giant, unending scroll that I would continually paint from left to right. Sounds a bit nightmarish now that I say it, though.