A visually compelling body of work- Snake Paintings, by Kevin Klein, opened in 2013 in the Balter Gallery of Garrison Art Center. They are large scale, highly detailed paintings of discarded snake skins that invite multiple interpretations. The compositions are at once gestural abstractions and super realistic depictions of what was once the snake’s protective cover. The shedding process, a snake’s way of healing and rebuilding, brings to mind in the context of our day, various notions of fragility, transformation, resilience, rebirth and, yes, memento mori, a reminder of our own mortality. Klein describes why he chooses a particular subject, in this case the discarded snake skin: “ The prospect of making a beautiful painting of an ugly thing excites me. Paradox and internal contradictions slow down viewers when they try to read work. Reading a piece more slowly allows for the possibility that viewers will find varied meanings in the painting and will perhaps contribute some of their own to the piece.”
Kevin Klein is a painter based in Peekskill, NY. His work revolves around his longstanding interest in the fragility and resilience of flesh, human and otherwise. His work has been exhibited across the U.S. in one person and group exhibitions, most recently at Kenise Barnes Fine Art Art, The Perella Gallery at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, the Katonah Museum, Pelham Art Center and the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center. He teaches painting at Manhattanville College. He earned a B.A. in Fine Arts from Yale University and an M.F.A. in Visual Art from Columbia University, School of the Arts. To learn more about Kevin Klein and his work, click here.