TOYSREVIL: So what are your own impressions of your own show, and of how it represents your current state of artistic directions or endeavors?
KEN KEIRNS: "Monkey In The Middle" is a new collection of work that's focus is on nostalgia and fun, it was meant to be lighter then my previous shows. I incorporated some of my favorite toys and characters from my childhood into the works, such as King Friday, Oscar the Grouch, The Fisher Price Mean Boy, and Yoda. I also brought back a few of my own characters, Terry: Patron Saint of 80's Metal, Destroyer, the monkeys, and that creepy Devon Rex cat.
KEN KEIRNS: I've collected toys for most of my life, so it was great to have the opportunity to paint them for a show. Toys are a completely different kind of challenge, with the constant smudging of wet paint and cramped hands. Some of the toys have a small amount of sculpey added to them, but I tried to stay in-line with the original style of the toy. They are very time consuming to work on, but so much fun when they are finished.
TOYSREVIL: You are one of the very few artists who literally looks to be taking time on painting your custom, as you would a canvas, IMHO - and I am continually amazed at the effort you put into them! So what's up next for Ken Keirns?
KEN KEIRNS: The next couple shows I have lined up will be a return to my regular style, exaggerated portraits with a moody narrative. I really enjoy painting toys and will continue to, but my primary focus will be on oil on board pieces. However… there may just be a limited edition resin in the works.
“Monkey in the Middle” exhibits thru July 17, 2011.