Our latest Artist You Need To Know is someone who works in media both moving and still: Dan Kennedy studied at the Ontario College of Art (graduating in 1983), and his paintings are vibrant, almost living scenes. His more recent works in animations might be described as his two dimensional works suddenly coming to life, with the characters and players interacting with each other, and the viewer. He also uses the pseudonym Dr. Erosion, which could be said to intersect nicely with the layered and textured nature of his artworks, whether in paint or video.
Kennedy’s works are intense, and very informed by the world around him: “Referencing material from the past two centuries, his work mines a vast repository of visual history such as cartoons, Farmer’s Almanacs, animated films, advertising and 19th Century song sheets. Through a dense proliferation of imagery, text and seductive painting, Kennedy creates a rich and phantasmagoric depiction of this communal psyche.A sense of mystery, stories untold, buried histories and political unrest ease through the paintings and pulls the viewer into a strangely familiar pictorial landscape. Kennedy also references a loss of time, innocence, and consciousness that has been deceived by new and old promises.” (from here)
His works can be found in the collections of the Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta, the University of Waterloo Art Gallery (UWAG), Waterloo, Ontario, the Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, Ontario and numerous private collections in Canada, U.S. and the U.K. Notable past exhibitions of Kennedy’s work have taken place at Vastlab Experimental Festival (Los Angeles), MOCCA (Toronto, ON), Edward Day Gallery (Toronto, ON), Glenbow Museum (Calgary, AB), Sable-Castelli (Toronto) and C Pop (Detroit, MI). This is just a brief selection, and his full CV can be seen here.
Kennedy’s latest works have been animations, but they continue his aesthetic that has been described as both ghostly ethereal and densely complicated, pulling upon his continuing “explorations of commercial culture or as he refers to it, ‘the commercial unconscious”.” (from here) There are qualities of both Hieronymous Bosch and The Brothers Quay in these brief vignettes from Dr. Erosion / Kennedy that are engaging but also eerie.
Many of his videos, stop action animations and experimental works can be enjoyed here. We’ve included three short samples above. From left to right, these are Drawing Time (2020), Cats Dream of Water (2019) and FR 23, from the series Field Recordings.