Saturday, December 24, 2011

Max Earnest winner will be announced after Christmas

Hello!  Happy Holidays!
I was sick with the flu since Monday and just got out of bed after sleeping many many days away.  So I'm a little behind on my reading and judging the show.
 Please forgive my not being able to attend to this sooner.
 If you entered the contest or would just like a catalog from the last show please e-mail me your address i n an e-mail at kmencher@ohlone.edu.
  I'll try to send you something next week.


See ya!
Kenney

Monday, December 19, 2011

Looking for a great indie Bay Area Art School? Try Rob Anderson's

Rob is a very nice man and I've shown his work at the Louie Meager Art Gallery and he's done demos for me at Ohlone College.  I think you'll like the way he teaches.

http://robandersonstudioschool.com/


Rob Anderson Artist
The Rob Anderson Studio School in San Francisco offers a four-year full time program in classical realist drawing and painting. 
It is geared for the student who wants a career in animation, video gaming, fine art painting and drawing, illustration, medical illustration or commissioned portraiture.
Additional part time classes are offered through the Thursday and Saturday programs for artists interested in figure drawing and painting, whether to hone their existing skills or acquire new ones. 
A congenial environment and a superior level of instruction is maintained through small classes while tuition is low in comparison to larger art schools.  
See a list of Class Descriptions here.
See Rob Anderson’s Artist website.
We are now taking registrations for Fall Classes.
Still LifeHandIshtar

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jailbait a story written by one of my collectors.

I got a totally charming email from Jackie Cannizzaro.  She wrote a story about this painting she bought at my show in Los Gatos.  So I'm sharing it with you.
___________________________ 
"Jailbait" renamed for the purpose of my story to "Hook Up for Vic and Charlene"
by 
Jackie Cannizzaro 

Vic and Charlene were in high school together. But only Charlene knew it. Vic hadn't noticed Charlene. He was a basketball player and dated the cheer leaders.  Not to say he was confident but he had a role and played the part. It would be harder to break the type cast. He's smart enough to keep his basketball letter jacket, dumb enough to be cool, tall enough to play a great game of basketball, short in character maybe, perfect for the 'in' crowd.


Charlene was neither bookish (which would have justified her unbecoming glasses).  Charlene had neither a models saunter nor poise (which would have gratified her body's shapelessness).  Charlene's straight hair had never blown freely in anyone's red convertible. Girls who rode in convertibles wore hair scarves over big hair with thick sprays of Breck.

Charlene didn't throw her head back in laughter and turn heads.  Heads never saw her pass.  Was she a nice girl, a naughty girl, a funny girl, a shy girl, a smart girl, a beautiful girl?  Somehow she totally missed getting any classification at all.


Like a one way mirror she saw Vic but he didn't see her. She could have had a crush on him but was wise to know a one way crush is just that. . .   Like getting hit by the big yellow school bus.  So she didn't allow herself.


The 8mm camera fast forward, frames, click-click-click-click to college. Vic's hooked up with a gal much like those he dated in high school.  But when he didn't qualify to play college ball she drifted away.  That's ok with him as he's enjoying playing the field.  Charlene's in college too and her bloom is opening.


Vic and Charlene are both going through hazing unaware of the others locality being at the same school. A variety of character roles and challenges were put in the draw at the men's house.  A variety of character roles and challenges were put in the draw at the women's house.  Initiation involved carrying out the task each drew.  Some roles were linked to play together but the drawing of roles is random.  Hook Up, the roles: a traveling businessman seeking an hour of pleasure in the arms of a "professional" woman.  These two challenges are drawn by Vic and Charlene unknowing of each in their separate houses.


Vic put streaks of white shoe polish in his hair to appear a seasoned
businessman.  He wears his high school graduation suit.  The directions in his challenge lead him across campus into a dark corridor and towards a slit of light pouring out a doorway.   Inside Charlene is dressed the way she always had wanted to dress for her man.  If she ever had a man. 

Sitting in the cold leather chair by the shaft of light she shifts from hip to hip to strike the perfect pose.  Waiting for whom?  For Gadot? For how long she does not know.


The door creaks open.  Vic's voice creaks too.  His shoes don't creak because they are like lead on his feet as he's frozen to the floor.  Upon laying eyes on Charlene he is not sure how far this hazing challenge is supposed to go.


Vic is approving of her slender body sitting in the shadows.  She has just enough shape to be inviting.  He wants to brush her straight hair away from her parted lips. Charlene's eyes without glasses reveal that she recognizes him. She takes a deep slow breath and begins to speak.


"Hello, Vic."

"How do you know my name?" he asks.

"You and I went to high school together."

Vic says "you and me? But I don't remember you."

Charlene says "but I remember you".

"Wow" Vic says (he never used the biggest vocabulary).  "Wow, how did I miss you?"


Charlene says, "What are we supposed to do now?"

Vic handing her is overcoat says "I have a red convertible, would you like to go get a cup of coffee?  We've got lots of catching up to do."
________________________________________________
 


Renovated Reputations: A Collaborative Installation of Paintings, Fiction, Music and Vintage Furniture
by Kenney Mencher, Patrick Nelson and others at:

The Art Museum of Los Gatos, California

4 Tait Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030

December 1 - January 6
Price: FREE
Phone: (408) 395-7386
The Art Museum of Los Gatos presents Renovated Reputations, an immersive exhibition experience featuring works conceived as a collaboration in painting, creative fiction, and design. At once noir, bohemian and pulp in style, the works invite the viewer to step inside and sit awhile, discover their stories and spark engagement.
More info at: 
http://www.kenney-mencher.com/


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Free Demonstration Sunday December 18th Art Museum of Los Gatos


I'm gonna do a free portrait demonstration on Sunday December 18th at the Art Museum of Los Gatos.  
It's free and bring a friend!


Sunday December 18th 12PM-2PM 


The Art Museum of Los Gatos, California
4 Tait Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030

Price: FREE
Phone: (408) 395-7386


Renovated Reputations: A Collaborative Installation of Paintings, Fiction, Music and Vintage Furniture
by Kenney Mencher, Patrick Nelson and others at:
 


The Art Museum of Los Gatos, California
4 Tait Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030
Price: FREE
Phone: (408) 395-7386
The Art Museum of Los Gatos presents Renovated Reputations, 

an immersive exhibition experience featuring works conceived as a collaboration in painting, creative fiction, and design. At once noir, bohemian and pulp in style, the works invite the viewer to step inside and sit awhile, discover their stories and spark engagement.
More info at: 
http://www.kenney-mencher.com/




Monday, December 12, 2011

Stories from the kids of Willow Glen Choir

A wonderful group of junior high school students who were in a choir came and visited the show.  The kids in the Willow Glen Choir did a workshop with me in which they wrote stories to go with the paintings.  We pinned theses stories and captions to the wall.  
I'm going to post some more in the next couple of days.

Here's what several of them wrote:










 
 


Renovated Reputations: A Collaborative Installation of Paintings, Fiction, Music and Vintage Furniture
by Kenney Mencher, Patrick Nelson and others at:
The Art Museum of Los Gatos, California
4 Tait Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030
December 1 - January 6
Reception: Saturday December 3, 2011 5PM-8PM 
Show up in costume and get into the photobooth!  You may end up being my next painting!
Price: FREE
Phone: (408) 395-7386
The Art Museum of Los Gatos presents Renovated Reputations, an immersive exhibition experience featuring works conceived as a collaboration in painting, creative fiction, and design. At once noir, bohemian and pulp in style, the works invite the viewer to step inside and sit awhile, discover their stories and spark engagement.
More info at: 
http://www.kenney-mencher.com/

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Jackie Garcia and Karen Martinez a story by two girls.

A wonderful group of junior high school students who were in a choir came and visited the show.  The kids in the Willow Glen Choir did a workshop with me in which they wrote stories to go with the paintings.  We pinned theses stories and captions to the wall.  Two of the girls, Jackie Garcia and Karen Martinez wrote a story in which they linked all the black and white paintings in the gallery together.  Here's what they wrote:


Connecting all the pics:


There's two girls that are getting prepared to go and eat and when they are ready they can get a ride to 


the restaurant of Gustave,




but, the three Richard twins don't want them to go 

because a man has their son captive in the restaurant, when their son should be with his grampah,
but he's on his couch, while the man's friends who have the boy captive are planning out what to do to the lady's son


then the rest of the guys are waiting to tell the mom thay have her son


then the guy who has her son sees her and thinks for a moment.


Next thing you know he's shining his shoes after he falls in love with the lady!










 

Renovated Reputations: A Collaborative Installation of Paintings, Fiction, Music and Vintage Furniture
by Kenney Mencher, Patrick Nelson and others at:
The Art Museum of Los Gatos, California
4 Tait Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030
December 1 - January 6
Reception: Saturday December 3, 2011 5PM-8PM 
Show up in costume and get into the photobooth!  You may end up being my next painting!
Price: FREE
Phone: (408) 395-7386
The Art Museum of Los Gatos presents Renovated Reputations, an immersive exhibition experience featuring works conceived as a collaboration in painting, creative fiction, and design. At once noir, bohemian and pulp in style, the works invite the viewer to step inside and sit awhile, discover their stories and spark engagement.
More info at: 
http://www.kenney-mencher.com/

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Art History Videos for my Students: Feudal Era and Romanesque

Review of Renovated Reputations from KQED

I got a review on KQED.  He likes the work but thinks I'm too much of an optimist!  Pretty cool and thoughtful review of my work.

Art Review

Kenney Mencher Renovates Reputations at the Art Museum of Los Gatos

Large Image
Constance Noring Elementary, Kenney Mencher.
On the surface, Kenney Mencher's portraits, sketches, and paintings are traditional, modest affairs. Now on view through January 6, 2012, at the Art Museum of Los Gatos, many of the pictures in his show titled Renovated Reputations are just eight by ten inches, not all that far removed from their diminutive photo-booth and passport-photo sources.
In style, Mencher's art is mostly loose, sometimes evoking the hasty accuracy found on the covers of pulp fiction novels, or perhaps the New Yorker if illustrator Owen Smith's been given that week's assignment. Other paintings suggest the slow-moving, gray grainy monotone of film noir. For his show in Los Gatos, each gallery, regardless of which style prevailed, was outfitted with thrift-store couches and odd pieces of occasional furniture, so his paintings of mischievous school kids, stoic adults and smiling couples felt like family portraits in a home setting, albeit ones with dangling paper tags bearing their titles. To add to this atmosphere at the opening, anyone who cared to could duck into a vintage photo booth to have his or her picture taken (a hat rack crowned with fedoras was available for those who felt like getting into costume).
The props and contrived staging were all part of Mencher's quest to make artworks that tell stories, even if, especially if, those stories are pure fiction. In a social media spin, some of the yarns printed in a newspaper that accompanied the exhibition were written by visitors to Mencher's website, where he invites strangers to pen tales of the people in his work. Winning contributors are rewarded with a sketch or watercolor.
The contest aspect of Mencher's art is a tad gimmicky, but this is not just another cynical ploy to extract free content from writers in exchange for a fleeting bit of fame. Mencher appears to be sincerely energized by the serendipity that results from his online collaborations. Indeed, after his first foray into this new terrain last spring at the ArtHaus in San Francisco, he lined up this second show in Los Gatos and a third in January, 2012, at Santa Clara University. Two more incarnations of the exhibition are scheduled for February, one at Ohlone College in Fremont, where Mencher teaches, another at the Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento.

Memory Game, Kenney Mencher.
At their best, Mencher's paintings defy the tropes of their conventions. Memory Game, for example, looks like a scene swiped from 1930s film noir, in which a pair of detectives (think a young Kevin McCarthy and Robert Mitchum) pumps the night clerk of a local boarding house for leads. For all I know, that's exactly the painting's source, but Mencher keeps this old chestnut fresh by giving us a double vision of the scene, seamlessly splitting the canvas into two halves so that the trio of men is presented from different perspectives. Swapping the positions of the detectives makes you think Mencher has merely mirrored his protagonists, but cleverly he has not.

Evan Tually, Kenney Mencher.
Other paintings, like the oil on Masonite of a young man unfortunately named Evan Tually are paired with Mencher's fiction, a predictable story of a kid whose father pushes him to confront the bully in his life even though he's no match for his cactus-hurling wife. A sketch of dad smoking a pipe hovers like a ghost behind Mencher's oil of the lad, while a collaged page from a comic book, chronicling dark discoveries late at night in the family bathroom, echo Mencher's melodrama.
Beyond Mencher's pun-hobbled titles (there are simply too many bad jokes here, even for me), I wearied of this world of smiling handsome people in hats, while the sexpot pin-ups that populate some of his canvases feel a long way from his work's Ash Can aspirations. Given the feedback he's getting to his work right now (art is usually a lonely affair), I get why Mencher probably views the world as a particularly sunny place, where, as the faux weather report on his newspaper's front page puts it, the morning promises to be beautiful, extending throughout the day. That's fine for one's life, but his art would benefit, I think, from a bit more messy menace and less cliché. Only a grouch could find nothing to admire here, but at the risk of raining on Mencher's parade, I'm hoping for a doozy of a thunderstorm. In this guy's capable hands, that would be something to see.
Renovated Reputations runs through January 6, 2012, at the Art Museum of Los Gatos. For information visit museumsoflosgatos.org.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A video of the adorable kids at the Art Museum of Los Gatos

A video of some really cute junior high kids singing "Winter Wonderland" at my show "Renovated Reputations."

Renovated Reputations: A Collaborative Installation of Paintings, Fiction, Music and Vintage Furniture
by Kenney Mencher, Patrick Nelson and others at:
The Art Museum of Los Gatos, California
4 Tait Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030
December 1 - January 6
Reception: Saturday December 3, 2011 5PM-8PM 
Show up in costume and get into the photobooth!  You may end up being my next painting!
Price: FREE
Phone: (408) 395-7386
The Art Museum of Los Gatos presents Renovated Reputations, an immersive exhibition experience featuring works conceived as a collaboration in painting, creative fiction, and design. At once noir, bohemian and pulp in style, the works invite the viewer to step inside and sit awhile, discover their stories and spark engagement.
More info at: 
http://www.kenney-mencher.com/

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Adorable kids at the Art Museum of Los Gatos

I'm gonna post some of the kids stories in the next couple of weeks.  These kids were so adorable and really really smart.  Here are some pictures from the event!






















 
Renovated Reputations: A Collaborative Installation of Paintings, Fiction, Music and Vintage Furniture
by Kenney Mencher, Patrick Nelson and others at:
The Art Museum of Los Gatos, California
4 Tait Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030
December 1 - January 6
Reception: Saturday December 3, 2011 5PM-8PM 
Show up in costume and get into the photobooth!  You may end up being my next painting!
Price: FREE
Phone: (408) 395-7386
The Art Museum of Los Gatos presents Renovated Reputations, an immersive exhibition experience featuring works conceived as a collaboration in painting, creative fiction, and design. At once noir, bohemian and pulp in style, the works invite the viewer to step inside and sit awhile, discover their stories and spark engagement.
More info at: 
http://www.kenney-mencher.com/