“i always had this lookist thing.”
kevin teare is looking to put something good into the world. something new. not because it is the noble thing to do, but because, “why waste your time doing anything else?”
the works are two-dimensional, like all paintings, but there is a tangible depth to them that wouldn’t square as obvious multi-dimensionality though you understand that is what it is. they are an acquiescence of his lifelong interest in packaging, and the way things—whether they be products or politics or liberties—are always being repackaged. and then there’s color.
“i am a non-objective, non-ironic painter who likes to work with color. i’m not trying to bludgeon anyone with anything new. but i like to make some kind of social commentary.”
the straightforward little circles of color fields are an automatic collection. he refers to them as “palette painting” because they start as palettes. he’s looking as he’s putting them together, like a quilter would assemble a patchwork, but they’re not premeditated.
he sees his giants and “the bar is set really high for what a person can do with paint…what moves me is a certain handling of the paint…what doesn’t exist yet that i feel so compelled i have to make it and bring it into the world?”
stylistically, the paintings are not intentional. he’s not trying to make you “see” anything, despite them have a purpose. and an identity.
the art of his labors of these last ten years has focused primarily on the beatles. what it has in common with previous works is it incorporates documents. what it is unto itself has as much to do with teare’s interest in the era in which the beatles rose to fame as the deification of the band ever since.
“pop art is ironic and irony is overused in art—like a trope. the age of irony died when warhol died. i consider myself a modernist…my paintings are informed with all kinds of data, but i reduce them. the painting is a work of contemplation.”
there is an element of the matrix at play here—the fun house mirror of history and personal narrative warping into each other and maybe a bit of the future. current events and headlines become touchstones for moments in our personal lives. teare’s choice of documents triggers the memory of “where you were when” for the viewer, making his works fossils as well as portals.
Kevin has spent the last few years curating two versions of OPEN FOR THE STONES, group exhibitions by painters, sculptors and photographers who have or have had a significant relationship to music. He is currently working on a book called The Most High about his series of paintings on The Beatles.