Kevin Sloan’s paintings reflect his interest in natural history, narrative painting, allegory, magic realism and the often underrated painting approach of John James Audubon, as well as Audubon’s subject matter.
In carefully composed and deftly rendered arrangements of everyday objects, landscape elements and in particular, birds, Sloan opens windows into staged moments that seem a bit out of time and a touch haunted by something unsaid or not quite remembered.
His homages to the posed life-in-death tableaux of Audubon are stirred in with time crossing elements like electrical cords and candelabra chandoliers, birds hidden under sheets or birds interacting with teacups, fruit and other traditional still life subjects.
The resulting “cabinet of curiosities” is given a patina of age by his painting approach, as though you had found his work in the attic of an old house that possibly had been in an alternate reality at some point.
9 Replies to “Kevin Sloan”
you’re spot on with characterizing his art! i love it…would enjoy seeing them in person, so much going in some of his pieces, i could just keep looking at them!!
Just as Paul Cézanne (who painted 900 oil paintings, 400 watercolours and many incomplete works) once said:
~ “There are two things in the painter, the eye and the mind; each of them should aid the other.”
Food for thought
According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities that are popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:
The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language and analytical thinking. The left-brain is often described as being better at:
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While Sloan is technically and undeniably brilliant, he suffers a bit (in my opinion) when compared to another Audubon-influenced artist of the same generation: Walton Ford. Ford’s large-scale paintings and prints are more pointedly satirical and barbed and bear a more directly parodied relationship with those of Audubon. And I find they’re just more fun for the viewer to explore as well. Sloan and Ford appear to be very nearly the same age and I have no idea which of the two was first on the Audubon parody track… But I find Walton Ford’s work more accessible.
The other thing to be said for Sloan is that he’s not JUST parodying Audubon, as Ford is. In Sloan’s work one sees echoes of other 19th century wildlife painters like Martin Heade.
Thanks, Daniel. I agree about the influence (a good one) of Martin Heade (I just couldn’t think of his name – thanks!).
Thanks also for the introduction to Walton Ford. I wasn’t familiar with his work.
I like Ford, and will likely profile him in future, but for me he doesn’t have the same kind of dream state magic realist vibe as Sloan, which I find particularly appealing.
The Complete (Awesome) Life Cycle of the Monarch by Duncan Scott Productions for the Chicago Nature Museum
The bird with the dollar bill is pretty cool, standing on the watch. Time and money. Brilliant!
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