Artist Interview with Kevin Kegler
Gallery Lane Cove, July 18th, 2020
"Never give up."
Gallery Lane Cove speaks to USA based artist and academic, Kevin Kegler about making art during COVID-19.
Please introduce yourself to our (mostly) Australian readers.
I’m a visual artist living in Buffalo, New York, USA, a father of 4 wonderful daughters, a husband of 1 beautiful wife, and a beekeeper to tens of thousands.
You're a professor at Daemen College, New York. What is it like being an exhibiting artist alongside your academic career?
Being a professor and an exhibiting artist is the best of both worlds. I have deep interaction and dialogue with, and inspiration from my students, and I have time and space to give my creative practice a full effort. Without my studio practice, there would be a great gap in what I bring to my students. Without my students, I would not be immersed in a young and vibrant energy around art making.
What are some major themes you explore in your art?
The major theme of my work is relationships. I frequently use bees and mundane objects as the source for imagery in my paintings. My sculpture is also derived from the exploration of relationship through non-representational forms.
What compelled you to submit work for Shelter Domestics?
The painting “Somewhere to Somewhere” was a clear fit to the theme of Shelter Domestics. The painting was recently completed so was hanging in my studio when I read the prospectus for this exhibit. That painting reflects the intensity, loneliness, and spiritual depth of living and working during a pandemic.
Covid, lockdown, isolation and its effects are still largely in conversation in the art world. Do you think you will create more artwork regarding the effects of COVID-19?
Yes, this time of COVID isolation has been both a difficult time socially but has also fuelled an incredible body of studio work. I have given time to my studio practice most days over these past 5 months and never lack for inspiration.
Many galleries and creative institutions are moving towards digitalising their platforms.
Do you think this will impact your art making?
Although I prefer my work is experienced live, digital exhibits do allow for a larger audience.
You’ve exhibited at many international locations. Did you have a favourite you’d like to talk about?
I do have great memories of traveling to Gorlitz, Germany to install a collection of my sculpture. The venue was an old manufacturing facility with many unconventional gallery spaces that created an engaging and surreal experience. Because each installation was so unique and had to be found in the maze of the factory, the audience was extremely engaged and interested. They had an authentic and personal experience because of the immersion in the environment. The evening reception and party was a phenomenal mix of people, music, light, and drink! I also loved my brief stay in that city.
Do you have some advice for young and emerging creatives during COVID and beyond?
My first thought is the beginning of a quote from the Dali Lama “Never give up…”.
That’s also my second and third thought: never give up.
Find out more about Kevin on his website.