Smell The Magic series by Kris Knight. “Gentle, almost delicate portraits of young men are a parade of characters that Knight continuously inhabits in metaphor; physical manifestations of the full array of the artist’s internal psychological tones. They are secretive, veiled faces that do not directly address the viewer; rather, they are in quiet repose filled with restlessness. Knight draws both technical and contextual elements from the Late Baroque and Rococo movements embodied by artists such as Poussin, Fragonard, and especially portraitists such as Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Vigée-Le Brun. His portraits of fragile youths are charged with sexual tension, completely self-aware, but fiercely guarded.” — Spinello Projects
Kris Knight is a Canadian painter whose work examines performance in relation to the construction, portrayal and boundaries of sexual and asexual identities. Drawing from personal histories of rural escapism through imagination, Knight paints disenchanted characters that are lost between youth and adulthood; they hide their secrets, but desperately long to let them go. His mythical and ambiguous portraits are a synthesis of fantasy and real-world memory; they tiptoe between the dichotomies of pretty and menace, hunter and hunted, innocence and the erotic. Throughout Knight’s professional practice, he has created thematic bodies of work that reference historical notions of regality, mysticism, romanticism and symbolism. He often skews these concepts with contemporary interests in androgyny, psychotropic alterations and the post-modern gaze. Knight’s lustrous classical cum illustrative figurative paintings, stride between a contradicting palette of sensual primaries and ghostly pastels, reflecting his adoration for 18th Century French portraiture and polaroid photography.
“I have been working on a series of images featuring large-scale slices of fruit. When I began these paintings, I was interested in what the inside of the fruits revealed. The seeds and veins, and the translucent flesh and color changes, were intriguing. The more I focused on them, the more fascinating they became.
I soon began to see the works as a metaphorical suggestion of the transitory nature of life. The fruits encapsulate a fleeting moment in time and glorify the unique characteristics of the subject. In comparison to my earlier, more conventional still lifes, the new paintings transcend a technical mastery to elicit more meaningful associations. This gives the paintings a deeper, more engaging resonance.” — Dennis Wojtkiewicz
Dennis Wojtkiewicz is a full professor at Bowling Green State University where he has taught painting and drawing in the School of Art since 1988. He recieved his M.F.A. degree from Southeren Illinois University at Carbondale and also studied at the Atelier Neo-Medici in France under the direction of Patrick Betaudier in 1978 and 1983. He is best known for his exploration of the sensitive nature of time in his oversized oil paintings of fruit and flowers. The transitory nature of his subject matter is encapsulated and transfixed with a heightened approach to realism. In 2012 his work was included in a solo exhibition at the Sugarman-Peterson Gallery in Santa Fe as well as group shows at Robert Kidd Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan and Miller Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2013 he was a featured artist in Art Revolution Taipei international art fair. Since 2005 his work has been shown in other international art fairs in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach, Santa Fe, and Toronto. He is the recipient of two Ohio Arts Council Individual Fellowships and has both paintings and drawings represented in major pubic, private and corporate collections.