By Angela Romeo
Sometimes people are just born knowing their path. There is no guessing; no trial and error. Such is the case with John Kenneth Alexander.
His story begins in Burlington Vermont and continues in Palm Springs. His art covers many genres including abstract, landscape and the figure. A true artist John does not limit his creativity and uses a variety of media from traditional oil on canvas to mixed media such as wax crayon, marker, plaster, found pigments and repurposed materials. He is also a gallery director, art consultant and art appraiser. And he has a social conscious. That gives his work a depth that cannot be captured without an artist’s soul, something people recognized in John at a very early age.
“As a child, I was a creative type and was most happy painting or drawing,” noted John. He began his academic study of art as a nontraditional student at the age of 26 at the Maine College of Art in Portland. He found himself drawn to painting and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in that field. But John excelled in other disciplines as well – he excels in sculpture, jewelry and color theory.
John has established himself in the fine arts community. Through his knowledge of the art, he has curated exhibitions. As an art consultant and art appraiser he has helped others understand the value of art – from its intrinsic value as well as its extrinsic value. But it is his artist soul that keeps shining.
“I became interested in abstract art. I created a body of work of colorful grid paintings and studies. These are directly related to my fixation on the refracting qualities of gemstones and crystals.” Refraction is a measure of how much light is slowed or bent as it passes through a material. The higher the refraction the greater the ‘bending power’ and the greater ability for the gem to re-route light back out to the observer rather than passing through the gem to the backside.
Many of his other abstract works are created in the art brut/naive/outsider art style. These styles are often defined as work that is created by one with little training or one with little contact to the “mainstream” art world. To others is work that embodies unconventional ideas. John’s work is hardly naïve and it’s created by a well-trained hand that thinks beyond the canvas. That can be seen in his figural work currently on display at Colliding Worlds Fine art Gallery in Cathedral City. . His work is part of a continuing exhibit, As God Intended. The exhibition includes three artists and their interpretation of the nude in art.
John became fascinated with the presence of the figure more than its detail, conveying form and volume through gestural mark making with as little visual information as possible. He is obsessed with the torso as an object, a vessel. For him, figure drawing is not only an investigation of how the elements of anatomy connect, but also an exploration of the eroticism of those elements.
The figure continues to be central to John’s work as he continues to use his art to explore issues of sexuality, repression and social commentary.
The current show features 11 pieces, with no pieces larger than 12 in by 15 in framed. “The sizes and framing are happenstance. I use a lot of well-considered repurposed materials and like to explore various media. These are the majority of my current figure work inventory,” said John. “I see myself as faithful to idea of art as an investigation of the materials first, whereas content and ideas are second.”
The beauty of the last statement is evident in the work John creates.
As God Intended is showing at Colliding Worlds Fine Art Gallery, 68895 Perez Road, Cathedral City, with an artist reception from 5- 8 pm.
For more information on the work of John Kenneth Alexander, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org