Interview: Ken Beckles
Luca Curci talks with Ken Beckles, winner of PHOTGRAPHER OF THE MONTH – AUGUST 2021.
I am an abstract painter and an accomplished photographer. My paintings are personal and very different from other artists’ work due to the way that I approach the work. I mix most of the colors that I use and I also design the unusual shapes that I use for the paintings. I try to use as many variations as I can to separate my work from the rest of the art world. Using this discipline creates my own dynamic style of painting. My influences come from outside the art world and they are varied as life itself. My photography is also personal in nature and with color being an important issue for both.
The best way to describe my art is to say that it is totally abstract, with large areas of varied colors that are sometimes splashed or solid and very linear in nature. The shapes are very unusual and the colors at times are also unusual. There are also some very hard edges, sometimes there are circles and sometimes there are small paintings within the paintings. My approach to doing the paintings also varies in that sometimes I work from drawings done to scale and then at times I draw directly on the surface because the concept is so clear that I can go directly to executing it. I have a continuing flood of ideas that I am constantly tapping into and as I do more paintings the greater the flow of ideas becomes. I also work in multiple styles that each lead to a series of paintings and every now and then one of those paintings opens another door leading to a whole new series of paintings. The paintings seem to have a mystic power of their own and they seem to capture a flash of emotion and freeze it in time like a camera does but since they take longer to complete they cover a greater range of emotions. The paintings can best be described as abstract color jewels that have fallen from the cosmos like comets or shooting stars.
LUCA CURCI – What is art for you?
KEN BECKLES – Art for me is life! I am a photographer and I am also an abstract painter and I work in both mediums to keep my art fresh and fluid.
LC – What are you currently working on?
KB – I am currently working on an abstract painting.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
KB – I was born in Manhattan in New York, I grew up in Manhattan and I still live in Manhattan which is the most exciting city in the world. I am a New Yorker.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
KB – An artist role should be to expanding the thinking of people viewing the art. Create emotions that the view might not have experienced. It is should also bring attention to the problems in the world and make them more apparent to everyone.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
KB – My style has changed over the years because the action of producing art opens doors that advance your art and give them more depth and meaning. Both my photography and painting have benefitted from producing art over the years.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
KB – I choose subjects by feel! I have a movie camera in my head that shows me what would be interesting to photograph. It’s like a continuous movie in my head that I pick out still pictures to record. The movie is always running and there and it is just a matter of recording what feels right.