Kevin Appel Answers the Perennial Question: New York or Los Angeles?
For Screen (Double Desert Inverted), Kevin Appel enlarged a found image until its granular CMYK rosettes were revealed. Flipped and repeated, the image then received layers of "interference" in the form of details extracted from one of Appel's photographs of the Salton Sea and rhythmic white triangles. Seen through this screen of architectonic abstraction, the final composition offers a view of nature that is at once recognizable and disorienting.
Kevin Appel has been exploring the environmental, social, and psychological impact of architecture in his varied paintings since the mid-1990s. “I come from a family of architects and designers. [Architecture] has always interested me in its psychological possibilities,” he has explained. The structures and surroundings of his hometown of Los Angeles consistently serve as his subject matter, though his style of representation has varied. While his early works featured stylized interiors of homes, he gradually shifted his focus to the exteriors of homes and other buildings, which he deconstructed and recombined into roiling, semi-abstract forms in grandly scaled compositions. Appel now incorporates photographs—of animals, landscapes, and urban detritus—into his canvases. Barely visible behind a scrim of painted gestures and shapes, they hint at the things that are displaced as we build.
American, b. 1967, Los Angeles, California, based in Los Angeles, California