Kevin Appel Answers the Perennial Question: New York or Los Angeles?
For Screen (Shoreline Debris), Kevin Appel photographed eroded commercial waste on the shore of the Salton Sea, a body of water accidentally formed by engineers in the southern California desert in the early twentieth century. Duplicated, mirrored and then painted with transparent circles, the final composition presents a view of nature obscured by a screen of abstraction.
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