Kevin Keaney (1962- ) “Untitled #41,” mixed media on canvas (collage, oil stick, ink drawing, and acrylic), 72 x 96 inches, 2019. The painting is signed on the reverse.
Kevin Keaney was born in Philadelphia, PA, and began painting while living in San Francisco in 1991. He graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000. At SFAI, he was particularly close to teachers Claudia Bernardi (printmaking) and Jeremy Morgan (painting). He worked actively with the San Francisco Print Collective from late 2000 to 2004. Keaney has been living in Oakland since 2018 and maintains a painting studio in an industrial area of West Berkeley, near Gilman Avenue.
Keaney works primarily in mixed media (combining collage, painting, and printmaking) and abstract painting. Imagery in the artworks is sourced from original photographs by Keaney. He credits his journal writing, which he reworks into poetry, with being integral to the painting process. The completed painting compositions are often his translation of imagery that first emerged through his writing process.
Of his recent work (including “Untitled #41”), Keaney has said “These works are part of a series which, I perceive, to be a distillation of dreams and conscious experience. I dream frequently of enigmatic experiences in huge metropolii pieced by powerful rivers or bounded by a dream Pacific.”
In early 2020, Keaney was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, “Berkeley artist’s work in storage auctioned off: ‘My entire life has just been sold’” by Megan Cassidy. The story recounts the loss of hundreds of artworks Keaney had kept in a San Francisco storage unit; an event that brought considerable attention to the otherwise reclusive artist.
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