Andy Kehoe

22.11.2012 in04:53 in Art -->


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Andy Kehoe was born in 1978 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2003, he received a BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design in New York City. In the years that followed, his paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country. After recently living and working in Portland, Oregon, Kehoe re-located again in 2010, returning to his home town of Pittsburgh, PA.

Strange Wanderings features a series of oil and acrylic paintings on wood panel, expanding upon Kehoe’s allegorical compositions, painted in his signature low-key palette of rich earth tones and autumnal colors, accented by fine, black line-work. Most of the artist’s subjects are animal-human hybrids, dressed in fine suits, sometimes smoking cigarettes or pipes, often horned, hoofed, or beaked and covered with fur or feathers. In this fantastical world, frolicking foxes and cats walk on hind legs, forest spirits linger behind tree trunks, creatures peer from above the forest canopy and silhouetted shadows fade into the mist.
Kehoe’s aesthetic is largely inspired by traditional folktales and mythological art. His narratives contain primordial themes of love, fear, mortality, alienation, greed, deception and betrayal. Nostalgic for a time before the age of science and reason, Kehoe’s work rekindles a childlike sense of wonder, recalling an era when fables and legends were believed as truths to explain each and every mystery of the unknown.

The majestic grandeur of nature has also had a strong influence on the artist and is present throughout his work. Colorful foliage and bare branches represent the seasonal passing of time. In this exhibition, Kehoe’s figures are isolated within desolate wooded landscapes, yet they are rendered with a greater contrast in scale than his previous work and, as a result, take on new dynamics in relationship to one another. During the course of working on this show, the artist embarked on an adventurous cross-country move from Portland, Oregon, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Along his journey, he stopped to explore National Parks in Wyoming such as Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Devils Tower, and Badlands in South Dakota.

In his words: “It was equally inspiring and intimidating seeing nature in that grand of scale. A lot of my work for this show has a sense of scale to it… mostly with creatures that are larger than life. Many of the new paintings have characters that are on journeys, and meet something new and unexpected, some comforting and others frightening. Some of the pieces also deal with finding home and where your heart lies.”