Ken Keirns for Monkey In the Middle Show @ myplasticheart (exhibits thru July 17)

myplasticheart launched “Monkey in the Middle” on June 17th - featuring new works by Ken Keirns - of which both paintings and custom toys can be procured online here. We've posted sneaks of select toys before, now we get into the mind of Ken, for his impressions and future of his craft, in this little Q&A we made him sit thru, alongside snaps of the event-display.


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.