Worlds Collide: Art by Ken Herren
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.
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.
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.