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Worlds Collide: Art by Ken Herren

A painting made in pumice-infused textural paintFlagon, acrylic infused pumice on canvas

Mixed media artist Ken Herren creates dense, layered works that utilize contrasting color and texture to create a very specific visual narrative. Growing up in a rural environment and later moving to a city, Ken uses his art practice to explore the spaces where those two worlds collide.

A painting in black and white made with pumiceResonance, acrylic infused pumice on canvas


I’m really drawn in by Ken’s use of color in his artworks. The rough, spackled texture that’s prevalent throughout the artist’s portfolio calls to mind earthy tones of sun-baked clay and stucco – so the bright, saturated colors that Ken uses instead provide a contrast that encourages a closer look. The way that Ken layers his compositions is also of note – the heavily textural top surfaces tend to be monochromatic, while hints of a kaleidoscope of hues peek through in spots where these coatings thin or disappears.

The gallery of contemporary abstract paintings on Ken Herren's websiteKen's website painting portfolio


In his artist statement, Ken describes his paintings as expressing “a simple landscape [colliding] with the energy of the city.” I really appreciate the creative way that Ken visualizes this concept, abstracting it into a feeling, a distant emotion that almost every viewer can find some meaning for.


A painting with a blue and white compositionEnsign, acrylic infused pumice on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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