”It’s A Penguin’s Life…” was inspired by the idea of an oversized and self-supporting origami form, which would generate an interesting 3D shape. Research showed that the form of a penguin is the tallest and the most stable of all origami animal figures. Such a form innately possesses a beautiful folding mesh, lending itself to the subsequent creation of a colour composition, to be “painted with paper”.

In the process of testing, penguins revealed their ability to gain a variety of different expressions just by slightly altering their folds. Also, when arranged together, they would create vibrant and expressive scenes, just like people. All this led to the idea of speech bubbles, which were purposefully left empty, in order to provoke a response from the viewer and to allow them to decide on the content.

The second part of the project explored colour compositions and backgrounds, and caught them in 2D form on a smaller scale as a snapshots collection of other possible penguin adventures.

Next the project’s evolution has found it’s inspiration in comic books, such as ‘Hulk’ and ‘Batman’, which are filled with dynamism and energy that is achieved through bold colours, rescaling and disproportion. Another inspiration revealed itself in the paintings of northern renaissance masters such as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel. In their paintings scenes are extremely dense and comprise many backgrounds and stories occurring simultaneously, which causes the viewer’s eye to constantly move throughout the painting. This sparked the third part of the project – the window installation where the intention was to create this kind of energy and dynamism.

”It’s A Penguin’s Life…” exhibition was prepared specially for the Art Basel Fair 2015.

Kris Knight

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.