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Kevin McKenzie: Industrial Objects of Ritual

Seymour Art Gallery, Vancouver
June 28 - July 23


Total Eclipse(2000),
mixed media

As a native artist of Metis and Cree descent, Kevin McKenzie has had good media coverage for his assemblages of found objects and their provocative associations. He relies on both spontaneity and juxtaposition to produce what he calls a "post-Pop expressionism", which is his own breed of narrative (or possibly yarns) set up by the surprise of otherwise-overlooked materials. In earlier exhibits, his assemblages combined such elements as plexiglass and aluminum; strokes and splatters of paint; duplicated photographs; natural objects like feathers; and urban found objects like automobile hubcaps. For example, tree trunks were "slaughtered" by a chainsaw and laid at rest in a coffin. Multiple photos of cruise missiles and weapons were inspired by the tumult of Kosovo. This recent work is much less reference-based and more about technique. While he revisits earlier contrivances of hubcaps and feathers in three-dimensional wall pieces, one new focal point is the use of an electric grinder as a "paint brush" to create "strokes" on the metal surfaces and sandpaper to produce cross-hatched marks.

© Mia Johnson