Kenton Nelson

artist interviews

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Click here to stream or download the April 20, 2014 interview  |  Stream on iTunes

Kenton Nelson

Kenton Nelson

“I have been designing rectangles for 38 years. 20 years ago, I decided to oil paint, when representation and beauty were unfashionable. I started by “picturing a perfect world,” a narrative idealism per se, advertising (propaganda light) “life the way they said it would be.” The older I get the more perfect my life was. So I paint my favorite things, and the favorite things my parents handed down to me, on a rectangle.” — Kenton Nelson

Kenton Nelson was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He attended Long Beach State University and Otis Parsons Art Institute, and for the last 35 years has had his art studio in Pasadena, CA. He has been on the faculty of the Otis Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles and the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

Nelson traces his interest in painting back to his great uncle, Roberto Montenegro, renowned Mexican muralist and Modernist. The style of Nelson’s paintings have their origins in American Scene painting, Regionalism, and the work of the WPA artists of the 1930′s.

Nelson paints figures, landscape, and architecture bathed in light. The objective in his paintings is to idealize the ordinary with the intention of engagement, using the iconic symbols and styles of his lifetime in a theatrical style to make leading suggestions.

All of Nelson’s paintings are composed with a mature draftsman’s pictorial intelligence. The compositions are ordered with the strong horizontal and vertical lines of architecture contrasting the curves of nature.

Nelson paints a distinctly California regionalism of his own native culture, documenting some of the better decisions, while remaining acutely aware of the art, and its function and purpose in society.

Visit Kenton Nelson’s website at: www.kentonnelson.com.