Kenneth Browne, Neo-Burlesque paintings
My mother passed away when I was twelve years old, and I never wanted to experience loss like that again. Barely a young adult, I was confused and unwilling to deal with it, but I soon realized that I really did not know much about her. Over the next few years, I would create an image of her from the stories my different family members told of her. This was my first relationship with creating and understanding the importance of a portrait: it creates an idealized expression of an artist’s relationship with his subject and leaves a timeless experience about the interaction between the artist and the person.
Seventeen years later, I find myself in New York City, fascinated by the city and the different people I continually meet- in particular, the people involved in the Neo-Burlesque movement. I was attracted to the idea of capturing the performers attitude and confidence along with their elaborate costumes in my artwork. Each performer’s costume, dancing style, and personality seemed to be individualized. These differences unite as a string of dissimilar types of shows as the performers come together to put on shows all over the country.
Each of my paintings illustrate a combination of both my interaction with a performer from the prospective of the audience member and as the artist. Using a worm eye prospective, I create the perspective that your are viewing each performer from the crowd. As an artist, I displace the performer from her natural setting and focus on their costumes. Using that displacement, I create a different story that informs the viewer about the performer’s personality.
Getting through the lost of my mother, learning about the strength of portraiture, diving deeper in the neo-burlesque scene, leaves me with the drive create new works.
July 8, 2015