Prof. Guy Kinnear reviewed in New Times

Posted: June 27, 2012

"Pater Noster: Sleeping on the Storm", 2010. oil on panel.

Photographer: Guy Kinnear

Guy Kinnear, an associate professor in the Department of Art and Design, is known for exquisite figurative renderings and tense compositions in his oil paintings and works on paper. A solo exhibition of recent and selected works is currently on view at the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo, CA. The New Times, a San Luis Obispo publication, caught up with Guy for an interview about the philosophy surrounding his body of work. The following excerpt is part of the article, "The Machine of the Body: Artist Guy Kinnear explores the philosophy of the figure" by Anna Weltner.
“Where exactly am I in this body?”

It’s a question artist Guy Kinnear repeatedly comes back to, both in his work and in our conversation at Steynberg Gallery, where his figure paintings and sketches currently hang.

“Do I inhabit it, or am I it?” he asks.

The search for the elusive, invisible “I” within the fleshy confines of the physical has led Kinnear to produce some striking, beautiful, and disturbing work. Secretly, I hope he never finds it. For a long time, Kinnear’s paintings began in conversations with his models, unearthing their stories and encrypting them in metaphor and historical imagery. His life drawing subjects don’t pose, they retrace their lives. And the moment they become lost in that action is the moment Kinnear immortalizes them in oil on canvas...

“I’m fascinated by the body. I’m fascinated by the machine of the body. … I think this is just trying to untie that knot and understand it,” Kinnear said of the new work. “There’s a morbid quality to being human. I mean, we produce abjection, we become sick, and skeletons can become symbols of death. … It’s wonderful, it’s beautiful, and it’s horrifying.” He sighs. “I haven’t put my finger on it yet. But probably the second I do, I’ll stop drawing it.”

Read the full article here.


Guy Kinnear, June 2012. Steynberg Gallery, 1531 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, 805.547.0278

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