Tim Kent

A Failed Legacy Oil on Canvas 60x80" 2015
A Failed Legacy
Oil on Canvas
60×80″ 2015
Deterritorialization Oil on Canvas 80x100" 2015
Oil on Canvas
80×100″ 2015


How does your work reflect, respond to, or intervene in the real? 

I am mostly concerned with the forms that underlie the constructions of our world, particularly as the earth itself becomes modified, shifted, and engineered for human purposes. I looked for the invisible subject matter in plain sight: high tension power pylons; engineering projects, like dams; monotonous lines of people queuing for something, anything. Presenting these banal operations in my paintings makes a notation of some of the significant components of our time. Revealing the mechanization of the world and societies we inhabit shows the terrifying aspects of contemporary culture, the detritus and the forgotten machinery of a consumptive society that we all share. We have become fully integrated into a hyper-techno-landscape.


How do you think about your work in relation to the history of particular forms, processes, or artistic genres that you work is inspired by?

Painting has been a primary source of representation and not much has changed in its production in thirty odd millennia. Oil painting itself, however, does represent a medium with close ties to power, to hierarchies, and of course to perspective. In this way it seems to me an ideal medium to represent the topics that I am addressing. Oil painting became a symbol of power because of human attitudes, ideas, and desires, not because of anything inherent in the medium itself. We reject whole systems because we attach the fallacies of humanity to them, rather than reconsidering what we did wrong in our engagement with them.

As we endeavor farther into the virtual landscape, there is something incredibly humbling about making paintings. Perhaps, it is one of the places where the computation is done in the mind of the maker not through an algorithm. It’s not noisy the way contemporary works can be, but if I do my job then a painting can produce a lot of questions, a lot of ideas that linger, that begin to connect to the digital age as well and all its power systems. My hope is that someone can return to the painting and keep thinking.


Images Courtesy of Slag Gallery