In the Eye of the Mind: The Fantastic Realities of Steven Kenny
Saturday, Apr 15, 2023 – Sunday, Aug 6, 2023
10:00am – 4:00pm
Just what is it about Steven Kenny’s art that makes it so uncanny — and so very engaging? Perhaps it is the tightly-painted Old Master manner in which he renders his works or maybe it is the way his figures and creatures seem both of our world and completely outside of it at the same time.
Truly, in Kenny’s mind’s eye, the natural world we think we know meshes seamlessly with a version of a natural world we know we do not. Inspired stylistically by Dutch and Flemish masters of the Renaissance and Baroque eras, Kenny’s paintings are not merely eye-catching for their display of the artist’s careful, logical, and classical hand but also for their simultaneous mix of the rational and the irrational. Indeed, Kenny has become a star in the art world for his ease at evoking the manners of the past with Surrealist themes that mark them as artworks decidedly of the present.
Kenny’s fantastic realities are filled with inversions of our understood world order; as opposed to anthropomorphizing and giving human traits to animals, Kenny conjures humans who sport wings, feathers, and fish scales. Whereas we humans may ask too much of nature in our real world, in Kenny’s paintings nature does not bend to human whims. Instead, creatures of all forms — and all sizes — bend to nature, living in strange symbiosis with their environments.
In this exhibition of his work from the past two decades, Steven Kenny invites us to enter his imagined world— and inspires us to re-consider our place in our own.
Event LocationPolk Museum of Art
800 East Palmetto Street
Lakeland, FL, 33801