Ken Aptekar

American, b. 1950

47 followers

Ken Aptekar

Bio

American, b. 1950

Followers
47
Biography

Ken Aptekar recreates historical paintings and overlays them with his own tongue-in-cheek texts. This masterful yet utilitarian appropriation of seminal paintings from the canon—by artists like Milton Avery, Jean-Antoine Watteau, and Ed Ruscha—comes from a desire to “drag the past into the present” and reflects his view that “it is our pleasure and responsibility to create their meaning.” He applies his words to sandblasted glass that he bolts onto the recreations, often superimposing texts that humorously challenge or subvert the intent of the original painting, as in Not Really (Ruscha) (2011), which counteracts Ruscha’s starry proclamation in Yes (1987) with a perfunctory “Not Really”. “Paintings are nothing on their own; they start meaning something only when you start talking back to them,” he says.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Biography

Ken Aptekar recreates historical paintings and overlays them with his own tongue-in-cheek texts. This masterful yet utilitarian appropriation of seminal paintings from the canon—by artists like Milton Avery, Jean-Antoine Watteau, and Ed Ruscha—comes from a desire to “drag the past into the present” and reflects his view that “it is our pleasure and responsibility to create their meaning.” He applies his words to sandblasted glass that he bolts onto the recreations, often superimposing texts that humorously challenge or subvert the intent of the original painting, as in Not Really (Ruscha) (2011), which counteracts Ruscha’s starry proclamation in Yes (1987) with a perfunctory “Not Really”. “Paintings are nothing on their own; they start meaning something only when you start talking back to them,” he says.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Get the Artsy iOS app
Discover, buy, and sell art by the world’s leading artists
To download, scan this code with your phone’s camera