Tag Archives: Judge Realty Permenant Art Collection

Studio Visit with Marcus Kenney

Marcus Kenney’s work embodies the bizarre boldness of the south in a manner as true and transparent as his dialect and demeanor. On a recent visit with Kenney, we talked about art, culture, the south, and even the television show “Naked and Afraid,” all while shuffling around his methodically berzerk studio. “Yeah, it’s chaos,” he laughed with a drawl so honest I was immediately on a farm in Louisiana.Judge Realty Permanent Art Collection | Marcus KenneyJudge Realty Permanent Art Collection | Marcus Kenney

Kenney, a Savannah transplant of fifteen years, has shown his work in New York, London, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Hong Kong, Paris, New Orleans and St Louis. His work is less of a studied idea of the south and more of a literal explosion of unabashed brain trust. “I like to create problems for myself. I create the problem, then I look around and see what’s here that can help me solve it,” he said.Judge Realty Permanent Art Collection | Marcus KenneyJudge Realty Permanent Art Collection | Marcus Kenney

Looking around his studio, it’s easy to see that his process is unlike anyone else I’ve met and his connection with the history of his work is unparalleled. “I was in Atlanta with a buddy, he was shopping for something for a client. We went into this interior design store and after five minutes I had to get the hell out. I found this abandoned house and went in to poke around and found this old rusted tin can. I loved it; who used it? What did they do? Where were they from? It told such a story,” he said. Kenney, moving more into self taught traditional painting practices now said, “That’s my problem with the paint: there’s no history. With found objects, people already have a connection with them, they have an intrinsic history about them. But with paint? You’re telling a story on your own and the connection is solely from the image you create.” Kenney’s past works have all been sculpture, collage, or a beautifully weird mixture of the two. Now, he’s created yet another problem: what to create without that history.Judge Realty Permanent Art Collection | Marcus KenneyJudge Realty Permanent Art Collection | Marcus Kenney

His work is like going to a flea market in New Orleans where all of the proprietors are lounging in caftans smoking opium and drinking absinthe- it’s stunning -as if Toulouse Lautrec had a lovechild with Nina Simone and that child embodied both of their experiences. “I found this baby doll in a flea market and became obsessed with it, so I made 300 of them and put them on the steps of The Telfair,” he said, “The ideas always come from something I find that I can’t get out of my head. Then I make something with it or a new version of it.”Judge Realty Permanent Art Collection | Marcus KenneyJudge Realty Permanent Art Collection | Marcus Kenney

For more information about Marcus Kenney visit http://www.marcuskenney.com/ or come see his work in The Judge Realty Permanent Collection at 347 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia.

Photography: Heath Daniel, Judge Realty Creative Director

Tangent (South Carolina) by Henry Dean added to the Judge Realty Permanent Art Collection

Henry Dean | Judge RealtyConceptually inspired by the plein air landscapes of Van Gogh and Rembrandt, Henry Dean’s series Sluice contemplates the intersection of art and nature. “Van Gogh loved the cycles of nature, his work was more about art as a way of living and manifesting a desire to be outdoors than just the observable world,” Dean said. “I grew up on farms, in the woods, my father was a beekeeper: so working outdoors seemed only natural for me. In the 90’s I focused on several sustained responsive drawings, observing a landscape for a long period of time (hours, days, weeks) and would draw the feeling, rather than the specific geography.”11403075_715811558564222_5959024430602868923_n (1)Henry Dean | Judge Realty In his most recent set of works, Dean went in a new direction: subversive paintings. “I came to Savannah to teach and saw an opportunity to remake my practice and do something completely different with no expectations. Traditional painting doesn’t reflect the experience of a place or, typically, the process of creating the work; I thought, ‘how do I represent the true meaning of the landscape as I see it?’.” Dean focused his energy on finding out what it meant to be in nature under the guise of a recognizable painting: how could he, almost completely, remove himself from the process and let the art be the experience of nature itself? He’s happy with the outcome, he says, “They have this experimental quality, but at the same time I felt like I had to stay on top of the process. It’s great to have Lori add the work to her collection. I’m grateful for that.” Dean’s process is, in a word, the way he describes the lowcountry: tidal. “There’s this amazing quality to Savannah where everything seems to wash in and out. I liked that aspect of the work as well; I left the canvases in the water and there’s a stillness about the works, in the way they’re being prepared, but then nature takes over,” he said. Leaving the canvases in the marsh for weeks at a time, allowing nature to fully engulf them, Dean achieved his balance: an ethereal, honest depiction of what life in the lowcountry feels like.Henry Dean | Judge RealtyHenry Dean | Judge RealtyHenry Dean | Judge Realty Dean said his process is less about painting with nature and more about allowing nature to create a visual representation of the experience. “We have this odd relationship with the force of nature. We talk about how it’s this beautiful thing, but we rarely fully observe it.”Henry Dean | Judge Realty To see Henry Dean’s piece Tangent (South Carolina) and the rest of the Judge Realty Permanent Collection (founded in 2014, focused around the ideals of environment, economy, and energy) stop in to Judge Realty at 347 Abercorn Street.

Photographs: Provided by Henry Dean