To be prolific is a gift. Creativity as a practice does not always come easy. Painter Josh Jenkins has been steadily making art for several years now, some years filling 2-3 exhibits with new work. Yet in the last year or so he found his productivity slowing down: “Aside from finding it hard to make time for myself in the studio after starting a full-time job I've also been in a bit of an artist’s slump--which has led me to paint over more paintings than I've ‘finished’.”
Jenkins is an expressionist painter whose work, over time, can be seen as an extended, ongoing narrative illustrating a Neo Bohemian world of colorful characters. These people are usually captured at leisure; sometimes celebrating, but almost always being social.
But now the artist has broken free of his slump, and his newest work, such as “Just A Family Stroll Around The Neighborhood” and “Wächter (Guardians)” seem to be an emphasis on domesticity; children and pets join Jenkins’ society, or at least they have taken more of the focus. The peace and tranquility of the traditional image of family, before dysfunctional was a descriptive term that would be quixotically embraced by the former “nuclear family” unit, is here placed within the unsettled line and mark making that has always been characteristic of Jenkins, providing a compelling visual tension.
One other piece we see here, “A Self-portrait at 31”, is perhaps the key to understanding the slight shift in themes, because Western culture highlights the passing in age of each decade, locating yourself one year after such a milestone suggests a time for rumination, an assessment of both the moment and the future.
Currently Jenkins has several "mini" drawings on wood available at KORE Gallery in the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center. They are recycled drawings mounted, painted, and then sealed on re-purposed wood. He is included in a group exhibit at The Champagnery on Frankfort Ave that will run through the summer.
Jenkins also will be participating in a group pop up show on Friday, August 3rd (a part of Trolley Hop) in the lobby of 635 West Main Street (next door to Red7e) from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Other participating artists are Shawn Marshall, Mike McCarthy, and Amy Chase.
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY
Education: BA in Digital Media with a Minor in Studio Art, Marist College (Poughkeepsie, New York)
Gallery Representative: Joshua is self-represented locally, but has works available at Revelry Gallery, KORE Gallery, New Editions Gallery (Lexington, KY), and at Caza Sikes (Cincinnati, OH)
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved