Q&A

 Why do you make art?

"I make art to witness what is inside of me. I experience my paintings as a rhythm of which I am currently going through or in the form of my sculptures. In the end of the act of creating, it all moves like a dance.”-KP 

 What does your art look like without seeing it?

“ My artwork is dense, its a mind field, heavy and charged, a confrontation or playing with my darkness, making it light. Expressing the rage in me of freedom. I pick certain colors to sustain certain feelings that resonate with my mood.” To ground myself, as a membrane to the beauty in self struggle.”-KP 

What are you inspired by??

"I am inspired by stories and mythology’s the idea of being able to tap into the “past life” and to think how that might feel. I am inspired by defacing the norms of beauty, such as commercial advertising, the distorted ideas of their beauty are transformed or rather rebalanced by my sensibility. Understanding that we are our own myths."-KP

Who are you influenced by?

"I am influence by John Moriarty, Stan Grof, Joseph Campbell and James Joyce. They all confront the human spirit and explore what it means to be human."-KP

Can you discuss the feeling you generate in your work?

"Catching what can’t be caught in real life. The painting has to speak to me otherwise I paint over it. When I no longer have the impulse to paint over you catch, a glimpse of something that your mind can’t describe in words, a mirror of searching. What is your message as a creator? “ To make art is a challenge,  you face your vulnerabilities and admire them and channel them into an art form . To find the love back in self expression. I am a journey through a multi layered landscape. I surrender to the rhythm, the movement, the impulse, to traces of hues fleeting past one another." -KP

 

 " The artist, like the God of creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, pairing his fingernails"- James Joyce.

 

     Kevin Power was born on a farm in County Limerick, Ireland. He spent his time close to nature constantly exposed to the cycle of life and death. After boarding schools, Kevin went to University college of Dublin, inspired by the book “The Outsider” by Albert Camus, he double majored in Philosophy and in English literature. After college Kevin moved to New York City, to get away from his oppressive familiarity of the normal. There he was exposed to “great visual art for the very first time”, artist, who expressed feelings on huge canvases, such as Pollock, Bacon,  and Joni Mitchell. He submerged himself into the city, feeling right at home living in Alphabet City, he had the feeling of seeing the world for the first time. He was astonished by the life and freedom New York city offered, all the mad men and the poetry, Allen Ginsberg flowed in his veins. Kevin moved to Amsterdam in 1991 to start a fresh. He found that Amsterdam was a city that one could grow in, a liberal atmosphere, where anything was possible. Once settled in Amsterdam, Kevin decided to attend the Gerrit Rietvled Academy. There he majored in Fashion. After finishing his degree, Kevin took up a job working for Li Edelkkort, as a trend forecaster, Joseph Thimister, a fashion house working on textile research and development. Then he went on to work for Sharon Wauchob again in textile development. Once he finished his job with Sharon Wauchob, Kevin left Paris in the year 2001 to focus on his own artist career in Amsterdam, where he is currently based now. Kevin spent years studying painters like Marine Marino, Baequiat, Debuffet, Fransico Clemont, and George Baselitz. He found in these artists total free expression and a rawness that spoke to him ; an aesthetic that he wanted to find in his own paintings. His first solo show titeled  the 'Catholic Voodoo collection' was in the year 2004 at  Suzanne Biederberg Gallery. Then Kevin was invited to curate a show called “The Soft Show” with Art Director Maarten Spruijt at Suzanne's gallery. This started multiple collaborations between Maarten Spruijt and Kevin, including the art creations for the styling of Tommy Hilfigers showrooms, (2005- to continuing). He was also hired by Tommy Hilfiger to create art projects to inspire the team working at creative services . He currently still creates large scale painting to complement the showroom that supports the collection. After doing a couple of solo shows at Suzannes gallery , including the ,“What Are You Scared Of," a show where you had to enter the gallery with a flash light to view the erotic and poetic textile wall hangings and to confront the viewer with homophobia, fear and eroticism in 2005. Kevin started developing the idea of 'pattern to wear 'and connecting it to pattern as a two dimensional art form. Using painterly techniques Kevin stitched and sewed pattern textile on to canvas playing with the idea of wearing art. In 2006, Kevin was invited to the Melbourne Art Fair, where he adapted the role as a performance artist “But I Am Myself, A Piece of Art”. Developing an ultra persona that dealt with shyness, fear of being looked at, art as ridicule, art as market.  Dressed in his own costumes this was sustained for five days. In 2007, Kevin did his first collection of costumes working with Composers and Musicians from the Klank Kleur Festival. He was interested in how sonic artists communicate with each other and found inspiration within the spectacle, the performance, the psychic collaboration and interaction that was created amongst these artists. In 2009, he again collaborated and created costumes for " Noah's Flood"an opera by Benjamin Britten with KKF festival. In the year 2008, at an outdoor sculpture festival in Noordwijk Holland, Kevin participated in creating an installation in the forest. This in turn lead to a series of paintings in the space of nature. He presented a scene of slaughter, and suspended animation, bodies in limbo, in a giant web and the peace that comes with surrender. The title “Don’t feed the Gold Fish” was emphasizing illusions and expectation as mental constructs. In 2008, Kevin working with art director Maarten Spruijt,  presented a hybrid sculpture installation-cum-fashion installation at the KunstHal Rotterdam celebrating the work for the lingerie  designer Marlies Dekkers. His intuitive and direct use of materials captured in a web a darker journey into consciousness to explore desire and attraction.  In 2009, he presented a collection titled “ Crow” inspired by the poetry of Ted Hughes, at Suzanne Biederberg Gallery in Amsterdam. In 2012, Kevin presented his work at the Bible Museum in Amsterdam. Working with musicians and composers Jacob Plooij and Vilbjorg they presenting an opera like tableau where boundaries dissolved between music and the fantastic inner life of  costume and objects titled “Apocalypse ". Using sound, costume and intuitive play the nature of apocalyptic culture in a space time capsule is questioned. The ethereal contraption questioned what was visually evident as a potential for transformation into a mythical past in search of a future when all there is is now. After the death of his father in 2010 Kevin became very interested in the healing power of shamanism. The visible world communicating with the energy from the unseen world, a zoom in zoom out, making sense and not making sense, echoes from the past bringing you to new experiences and finding peace and healing there. The drum quoting itself sounds out a rhythm that suggests a fantastical journey into many worlds through memory and surrendering consciousness to the unknown searching for healing rhythms. His first  wearable shamanic collection was titled "The Saint Francis". A cross between a dungaree and a monks habit the repetitive structure of the design gave narrative to a global journey of oneness. Inspired by healing and the effect clothing has on consciousness:  Kevin went on to develop the Dali Lamas Pajamas collection. This is a collection inspired by a ponchos and kimonos, where Kevin wanted to fuse volume, art and softness with the male wardrobe.  Giving the wearer a sense of protection and the feeling of prayer and meditation as gesture. Its the perfect garment for shamanic practice , sacred intimacy and a sense of oneness. “Shamanism is healing, its performance, its Art, its love, its theater and its a meditation on the living and the dead.”