I’m very lucky to be Facebook friends with Clive Hicks-Jenkins an artist whose work I admire hugely. He generously shares his work on Facebook, his thought processes and sketches, models and maquettes. I can’t claim to understand or recognize all his references, the symbols, the folklore……but then I don’t think that matters, what matters is that his work stimulates, excites, resonates and makes my life richer.
Last week on his blog (Clive Hicks-Jenkins Artlog) he introduced an American artist Kevin M Paulsen. I realized that through my work (at one time) as an interior designer I had come across this chap through his mural work.
He is perhaps best known for his murals and decorations for early American houses…..but there is so very much more to this man.
His work conjures up the past with his use of traditional colours, earth tones of red, ochre and green and his love of patina, his use of classical architecture, pavilions, spewing volcanoes and ships at full mast.
His drawings and paintings are often presented as if seen on a stage through a proscenium of swags and elaborate drapes or between classical columns and ruins that might suggest a ‘grand tour’. His fantastical buildings are draped with lights and flags. In fact flags and banners, sails, tented pavilions and fabric screens are prevalent in his work.
What are the flags and pennants celebrating and what’s going on inside those pavilions and behind those screens? Where are his vast sailing ships with hundreds of sails and flags going to or coming from and who inhabits his buildings?
Looking at his work I’m invited into a world that is dreamlike, part recognized, part fantastical and a little scary (but in a good way!) with swirling mists and shimmering water, neo-classical architecture and weeping willows, the occasional figure (lovers or murderers)…….I love it.
I’m now a Facebook friend of Kevin Paulsen….I think it’s going to be interesting.