Monday, August 01, 2005

Artist of the Week 08/01/05

There's a list of artists who create their own worlds in three dimensions, sometimes in miniature, and then exhibit only photographs of those efforts (James Casebere and Thomas Demand being perhaps the most famous of them), but few artists working in this way present worlds as dramatic as New York artist Kim Keever. When I first met Kim, he was represented by the now gone De Chiara/Stewart gallery. I found his photographs mystical and mysterious. He amazed was he doing that? Consider these earlier ones:

Kim Keever, Eight Months, 1997, cibachrome, 34 x 44 inches

Kim Keever, View from Darkness, 2000, cibachrome, 52 x 64 inches

Actually, if you look at the last one closely, you begin to see the tell-tale signs of Kim's process. I've worked with Kim (curating his work in to an exhibition in London), and have a great deal of respect for him and his work, but I think he may have made a mistake revealing his process. In an exhibition at De Chiara/Stewart, as well as on the website for his current gallery, Feigen Contemporary, he spelled it all out for the viewer to see:

He photographs through a tank in which he creates the landscape, fills the tank with water and then squirts in paint to create the atmospheric clouds and such. It's still a spectacular process, and I have to trust that Kim is not worried that the work suffers from the revelation about how it's made, but for me, I prefered it when I didn't know. Perhaps that's just the kid in me, I'm not sure.

Having said that, revealing his process did lead Kim to expand his project into video. You can see a Quicktime piece here.

Kim's gallery's site nicely places the work in art history (citing Hudson River School painters and such), but for me, he's one artist whose work is better to look at than read about. Here's a few more photographs:

Kim Keever, Summer: Blue, Yellow and Gray, 2004, C-print, 51 1/8 x 68 1/8 inches

Kim Keever, Palm 47, 2005, C-print, 30 x 44 inches


Anonymous crionna said...

Wow, cool stuff; and look at the sizes! No wonder he shoots 4x5.

And yeah, i'd prefer not to know. As an old salesman said, "When the mystery is history, so's the margin."

8/01/2005 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

"When the mystery is history, so's the margin."


having said that, you do forget all about his process when you first see each's just that eventually you remember.

8/02/2005 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Heh . . . having spent years as a movie SFX junkie, my first thought was "cloud tank." An old and well-respected effects device; the novelty is always in the execution

Beautiful photos, very evocative. That "Summer: Blue, Yellow and Gray" has a great feel to it.

8/02/2005 11:20:00 AM  

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