Kevin Sloan - Artist Statement
Just as painters of
The Age of Discovery set about to illustrate and make sense of their
world, I set out to do the same in ours, but imposing unexpected, modern
objects of our everyday existence into mostly natural environments. The
question arises: which is more foreign to us, a penguin or an extension cord?
Which belongs within the borders of the formal picture frame and, which
elements will be left to observe in 1000 years? These characters
puzzle over timepieces and teacups near the sea. They stare bewildered at
piles of books and balance on children's toys. In these small dramas,
they actively participate in the world of modern things but with a child-like
irreverence. These objects, often so valuable and revered by us are just more
things to stumble over and attempt to make sense of in the animal
world. They innocently and clumsily interact with their worlds, sometimes
with great drama and spectacle and sometimes with a futile silliness.
I have an on-going concern for the welfare of the "silent inhabitants" we share this world with. These animals entertain, comfort, feed and sometimes inconvenience and frighten us. Whatever our relationship with animals, particularly wild ones is, it's often pushed to the background. They exist in vividly filmed television documentaries, a trip to zoo, and sometimes a surprise encounter on an early morning walk. But for the most part, the natural world is somewhere "out there" removed from our daily lives. I choose to personify these creatures as a means to make them more approachable - more like us. If we see them doing human things in the paintings, and see objects from contemporary life, it creates a momentary bridge between our two worlds. In this respect, perhaps for a moment, we see them as not so foreign and wild but kind of like us. Or, we're kind of like them.