Kevin Blake: What The Cool Pigeon Knows

RAC FlexSpace
March 5 – April 15, 2017
Reception: Sunday, March 5, 3-6pm
Curated by Kim Piotrowski

Kevin Blake. "Raving Through A Suite Of Smokeless Husbands," 2016. Oil on Paper, 26" x 26".

Kevin Blake. “Raving Through A Suite Of Smokeless Husbands,” 2016. Oil on Paper, 26″ x 26.”

All the novelty of history coalesces in the present moment–as a distillation of that which preceded it. This pastiche, or visual cuing of past narratives, has arrived on a platform unrecognizable to the history it propagates. In “What The Cool Pigeon Knows,”  artist Kevin Blake presents a traditionally beheld painting vernacular as a means of synthesizing this collage with the use of recycled imagery from the collective past. The characters in these paintings are developed from the hard-working, strong, but nevertheless remote-controlled heroes of the post-World War II fringes and subsequently, post-war American idealism, which continues to infiltrate the cumulative psychology. These works look to film noir, pulp fiction, and the birth of advertising as a platform for projecting the viewer into a dialogue about time, and the affect of language on the human operating system from a generational vantage point.

In a world in which the wheel of events rolls on so rapidly, in which contradictory information slides by our eyes on effervescent screens, and in which constitutions and dynasties are dissolved in mere moments–the individual has become the sole proprietor and patron of belief.  “What The Cool Pigeon Knows” highlights this responsibility–the everyday task of asking oneself why you believe what you believe, and applying those conclusions to the world you see in front of you.

About the artist

Kevin Blake lives in Chicago. He received his MFA in 2014 at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, his MA in Art Eduction in 2011 and BFA in 2004 at SAIC, Chicago.  He has exhibited his work in Chicago the last few years and is a contributing writer at Bad at Sports and New City.